July 21 – Jack is back, really. FIFA’s most-wanted, Jack Warner, the disgraced former Concacaf president and FIFA vice president currently battling extradition to the US, is bidding to re-enter politics in his home country of Trinidad and Tobago as a member of parliament.
Warner has announced he will be contesting the next General Election on August 10 as an Independent Liberal Party (ILP) candidate for the Lopinot/Bon Air West seat.
He is a former Chaguanas West MP and served as a Government Minister under the former People’s Partnership administration. He resigned his seat in April 2013, only to be re-elected as Chaguanas West MP, but this time as a member of the Independent Liberal Party, in July 2013. While in government he served as national security minister.
Warner was indicted on multiple counts of corruption by the US Justice department in 2015 but while others have been brought to justice in the US, Warner has remained a free man in Trinidad.
If Warner is elected an MP it would still not give him immunity from extradition to the US, but it may be useful for Warner in the court of public opinion.
However, it appears his political career was as controversial as his football administration one.
During the People’s Partnership administration the Dutch fiscal intelligence and investigative service investigated the suspicion of bribery by the Damien Shipyard Group of foreign officials in relation to ship building contracts. People’s Partnership, triggered by commission rates paid of 13% as opposed to the more standard 4%.
Current Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said a former national security minister in the People’s Partnership government was “involved in the negotiation and was mentioned in relation to corruption” by the Dutch investigating authorities.
Total commission on the deal was paid to a foreign agent, its local partner and its St Lucia affiliate was €23 million or TT$177 million.
Asked by the Trinidad Express whether he played a role in the negotiation, Warner replied: “No comment from me. Let your PM try again.” So is that a Yes then Jack as it didn’t sound like a No.
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