Trinidad PM says Jack Warner has nothing on her and puts matter in lawyer’s hands

kamla persad bissessar

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar


PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Sunday May 31, 2015 – Insisting that her hands are clean, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar has put the matter of Jack Warner’s “slanderous” statements against her, following his release from jail, in the hands of her lawyers.

But she says she is not worried about any of the revelations which Warner says he will make about her.

The 72-year-old politician, who is facing extradition to the United States to face corruption charges related to his 15 years as vice-president of football’s world governing body, FIFA, has insisted Persad-Bissessar got money from him to fund her election campaign and made other allegations.

“I did get a copy of what Mr Warner actually said and I have placed his slanderous statements in the hands of my lawyers. There is absolutely no truth in the words I heard him speak in an interview and from his platform. It is in the hands of my lawyers, the statements are totally untrue and go beyond untrue and are slanderous and defamatory statements,” Persad-Bissessar told reporters yesterday.

Warner has accused the government of being behind the charges and has declared “the gloves are off”, promising to expose the prime minister.

However, Persad-Bissessar said yesterday: “Some people say, and I’m not of that view, but some people are saying they agree that the gloves are off and that he may be clearing the way for the handcuffs.”

She also dismissed Warner’s threats.

“If you recall every single year and even before I became prime minister, the gentleman has threatened – if you want to use those words. I don’t see it as threats, I see them more as ranting and raving. He has always threatened about having files, then he comes and says he has no files, now he says he has more files,” she said.

Warner is among 14 people – current and former FIFA officials and sports marketing executives – charged with with racketeering, bribery, wire fraud and money laundering, stemming from a scheme, dating back 24 years, that involved $150 million in bribes and kickbacks being paid to obtain lucrative media and marketing rights to international soccer tournaments.

On Wednesday, hours after the indictment was unsealed in a federal court in Brooklyn, he appeared in court in relation to the US authorities’ attempt to have him extradited.

He is out on TT$2.5 million (US$394,601) bail and will return to court on July 12.

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