Trinidad justice minister says Warner should go to NY to face charges

Trinidad’s justice and legal affairs minister calls on a former top FIFA official from his country to go to New York to face trial after British Broadcasting Corp claims to have seen evidence incriminating vice-president Jack Warner.

PORT OF SPAIN, TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO (JUNE 07, 2015) (REUTERS) – Trinidad’s justice and legal affairs minister on Sunday (June 7) called on a former top FIFA official from his country to go to New York to face trial in the corruption scandal that has rocked the sports world, after the British Broadcasting Corp revealed they have evidence incriminating former vice-president Jack Warner.

Prakash Ramadhar, Trinidad’s Justice And Legal Affairs Minister, made a personal appeal to Warner, “as a patriot” asking him to “save the reputation” of his country.

“If you love Trinidad and Tobago, I ask you, go to trial so that we will hear what the facts are, and not what you say they are,” said Ramadhar.

Warner is among nine current and former FIFA officials and five corporate executives charged by the U.S. Department of Justice with running a criminal enterprise that involved more than $150 million in bribes.

Prosecutors say Warner solicited bribes worth $10 million from the South African government to host the 2010 World Cup and diverted funds for personal use.

The BBC reported on Sunday that it had seen documents showing Warner had used the money for cash withdrawals, personal loans and to launder money.

“The papers seen by the BBC detail three wire transfers by FIFA,” the report said.

“In the three transactions — on 4 January, 1 February and 10 March 2008 — funds totalling $10m from FIFA accounts were received into CONCACAF accounts controlled by Jack Warner.”

“This is a battle for truth,” said Ramadhar. “And the solution rests in the heart, and the conscience and hand of Mr. Warner. to vindicate us, not by absolving himself, by admitting to what he has done,” said Ramadhar.

Warner, a central figure in world football’s deepening scandal, had constantly denied any wrongdoing but vowed last week to tell investigators all he knew about corruption within the sport’s governing body.

The 72-year-old announced his plans to reveal all in a paid political address in his homeland of Trinidad and Tobago, entitled “The gloves are off”.

“The documents reveal how the money was spent and moved around,” the BBC said in its report.

“JTA Supermarkets, a large chain in Trinidad, received $4,860,000 from the accounts.

“The money was paid in instalments from January 2008 to March 2009. The largest payment was $1,350,000, paid in February 2008.”