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RFI interview: Fifa - Trinidad and Tobago

Jack Warner threatens to link Trinidad PM to Fifa corruption probe in extradition row

Trinidadian politician and former Fifa official Jack Warner
Trinidadian politician and former Fifa official Jack Warner Reuters/Andrea De Silva

Former Fifa official Jack Warner has repeated his threat to wreak revenge on Trinidad and Tobago’s Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar over his planned extradition to the US in the ongoing corruption scandal affecting football’s world governing body. And he has accused plea-bargainer Chuck Blazer of lying when he admitted taking bribes.

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In an interview with RFI, Warner said he will reveal secrets about “resources” he provided for Persad-Bissessar, apparently linking Fifa officials to the 2010 election in his country.

 “I shall disclose the precise source of those resources another time,” Warner said in a TV broadcast on Wednesday as extradition to the US on charges of racketeering, wire fraud, money laundering and bribery.

He had kept the information to himself up until now because he was a minister in Persad-Bissessar’s government, he told RFI Thursday.

“Against all the odds I have remained silent but I feel with the prime minister going to the parliament and putting those charges in the Hansard [the parliamentary record] and … to sign my extradition, that kind of thing is heinous and so I decided to speak out,” he explained.

And he swore that he would fight extradition.

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“The US has no guns that I am aware of, wanting me to be tried in their country. I committed no offence against the US, I have no account in the US, I deposited no money in the US, I wired no money to or from the US,” he insisted. “So let them show me the evidence as to why it is they want me extradited.”

Former Fifa official Chuck Blazer has admitted taking bribes in connection with the choice of South Africa as 2010 World Cup hosts and facilitating bribes relating to the 1998 World Cup held in France.

“Chuck is saying anything and everything to save his skin,” was Warner’s comments on the confession.

“Let me ask you something: South Africa got the rights to host the World Cup in 2004 … Why is it in 2010, six years later, should we get any money for that right? Why take six years after they got the rights to the World Cup to pay a bribe?”

 

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