TRINIDAD: PM Bissessar accuses Jack Warner of blackmail

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kamla.jpgPrime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar of Trinidad & Tobago has accused her former national security minister, Austin Jack Warner, of having sought to blackmail her into reinstating him as a government minister.

Mrs Persad Bissessar was responding to the latest release of tapes and documents on Tuesday by Warner, claiming corruption and criminal conduct within the coalition People's Partnership government that faces a general election on September 7.

During a news conference, Warner played the tapes, again claiming he had to warn the country about the Prime Minister, since, according to him, she was "unfit for office."

Warner was fired from the Cabinet in 2011, amidst an earlier corruption scandal, relating to his role then as a vice-president of football's world governing body, FIFA.

Warner is currently on indictment by the US Justice Department, relating to football corruption charges, and is awaiting court hearings to determine whether he should be extradited to face those charges in the United States.

Seven current FIFA officials, including Caymanian Jeffrey Webb, were arrested in Zurich, Switzerland last month on similar corruption charges, and are awaiting extradition to the United States as well.