T&T: Extradition request for Jack Warner

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jack-warner.jpgTrinidad & Tobago Attorney General Garvin Nicholas has confirmed that the US State Department has requested the extradition of former Fifa Vice President and CONCAF President, Jack Warner. Nicholas says the matter will go through the court system in the twin-island republic.

This development followed an announcement by US Attorney General Loretta Lynch at a press conference on Wednesday that the investigation into wide spread corruption at FIFA will continue, and hinted at additional arrests.

The indictment also alleges that officials took millions of dollars in bribes, over 20 years. Fourteen persons are under indictment while seven were arrested in Switzerland last night. Six of those indicted have current ties to FIFA, while another, Jack Warner, is a former vice president and ex-president of CONCACAF.

The indictment alleges Warner took US$10 million in bribes from the South African Government for the 2010 World Cup. Lynch declared the next step in the the FIFA investigation would involve extraditions.

Officials would not comment on the investigation into FIFA president Sepp Blatter, the man widely regarded as the most powerful person in sports. One federal law enforcement official said Mr. Blatter's fate would depend on where the investigation goes from here.

Meanwhile, Warner who is seeking re-election to Trinidad & Tobago's parliament has responded to corruption charges levelled against him by US authorities. In statement issued on Wednesday, Warner said he was aware that he was being sought in connection with the criminal probes underway. However, he said he was innocent of all charges and had fought fearlessly against all forms of injustice and corruption. He added that he has not been afforded any due process and has not been questioned in the matter.

Warner stated that the actions of Fifa no longer concern him, having stepped aside more than four years ago. He noted that the cross-border coordinated actions come at a time when Fifa is assembled for elections to select a President who is said is universally disliked by the international community

He said it was his experience that it was times such as this, that large world powers typically take action to affect world football. Warner's two sons are among four men who have already pleaded guilty in in the U.S. football corruption investigation involving bribes totaling more than US$100 million. However Jack Warner said he was not aware of his sons' guilty pleas.

The guilty pleas were unsealed at the Justice Department Indictment. According to the Associated Press, those who pleaded guilty are Daryan and Daryll Warner, Chuck Blazer, former Concacaf general-secretary, who for nearly two decades was the most senior American official at FIFA, and Jose Hawilla, an executive of the Brazil-based sports marketing firm, Traffic Sports.

Blazer has been accused of pocketing millions of dollars in marketing commissions and failure to pay taxes. He has been a cooperating witness for the FBI since leaving football in 2013 and has forfeited almost $2 million. US officials say Hawilla has agreed to forfeit more than US$151 million.The men face maximum jail terms of 20 years. Some of the charges include racketeering, wire fraud conspiracy, wire fraud, money laundering conspiracy, money laundering and obstruction of justice charges.

Concacaf head and Fifa Vice President, Caymanian Jeffrey Webb, was among several senior officials at Fifa who were arrested in Zurich, Switzerland this morning. Webb is also president of the Cayman Islands Football Association.

Cayman Television said a statement is expected from Webb's CONCACAF office in George Town.

 

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