News Americas, MIAMI, FL, Fri. May 29, 2015: Former Trinidad & Tobago national security minister and FIFA vice president, Jack Warner, remained defiant last night, hours after his release on bail from Frederick Street Prison, Trinidad & Tobago.
Warner, who was remanded to the Port-Of-Spain prison Wednesday night following a delay in processing his TT$2.5 million bail, arrived at his party’s political meeting in Chaguanas East last night fired up and defiant in the face of bribery and corruption charges.
“My life feels threatened but I will not relent,” the Independent Labor Party founder told supporters who showed up to greet him.
But he said, “the gloves are off” and he will stay silent no more.
“I have decided that everything I have on Kamla I will bring out into the public,” Warner said, in reference to Prime Minister of Trinidad & Tobago Kamla Persad-Bissessar, his one time ally in the People’s Partnership government.
In parliament yesterday, Persad- Bissessar, underlined the seriousness of the charges facing her former Cabinet colleague, especially as it relates to the US’ extradition request.
“It brings me no pleasure,” the PM stated.
Warner’s latest scandal comes as the attorney general’s office in Trinidad and Tobago admitted on Wednesday that it had been working with the U.S. Justice Department investing the former FIFA vice president, who was forced out of the soccer body in 2011 over a bribery scandal.
The US Department of Justice alleges massive corruption by Warner and 14 others, including serving and former high-ranking FIFA officials and sports marketing company executives alleged to have paid bribes.
Warner was president of the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) and a FIFA executive committee member from 1990.
It was then that the US feds claim Warner “began to leverage his influence and exploit his official positions for personal gain.”
They claim his demand for and receipt of bribes was a key part of a 24-year racketeering and bribery conspiracy, dating from 1991 to 2015.
In the 164-page indictment, the DOJ alleges that a $10M payment was transferred by FIFA to the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) accounts that Warner controlled, in return for Warner, Chuck Blazer and an unnamed third FIFA “conspirator” voting for South Africa to host the 2010 World Cup.
The indictment alleges the South African government initially offered to make this payment to the CFU, with a stated purpose to “support the African Diaspora.”
From this $10M, Warner is alleged to have agreed to pay $1M to Chuck Blazer, New York City’s Blazer, a former member of the FIFA Executive Committee and a top boss for CONCACAF, who according to the US Department of Justice, has pleaded guilty to this and a series of other financial frauds and crimes.
Warner is accused of agreeing to pay Blazer’s $1M share in installments “as he had already spent it.”
The indictment also charges Warner over the infamous payments of $40,000 packs of cash to Caribbean delegates in 2011 by Mohamed bin Hammam, who was challenging Sepp Blatter for the FIFA presidency. Warner, discovering that one official had called Blazer at CONCACAF to tell him about the payments, is alleged to have become angry and said: “There are some people here who think they are more pious than thou. If you’re pious, open a church, friends. Our business is our business.”
Warner’s sons Daryll and Daryan have already taken guilty pleas. On July 15, 2013, Daryll Warner, a former FIFA development officer, pled guilty to a two-count information charging him with wire fraud and the structuring of financial transactions.
On October 25, 2013, Daryan Warner, pled guilty to a three-count information charging him with wire fraud conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, and the structuring of financial transactions. Daryan Warner forfeited over $1.1 million around the time of his plea and agreed to pay a second forfeiture money judgment at the time of sentencing.