Trinidad president appoints tribunal to probe Jack Warner’s finances

jack-warner

Leader of the minority opposition Independent Liberal Party (ILP), Jack Warner

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad, Wednesday March 18, 2015, CMC – Leader of the minority opposition Independent Liberal Party (ILP), Jack Warner says he is not “trembling in his shoes” after a four-member tribunal was sworn in by President Anthony Carmona to probe his declarations of income, assets and liabilities filed with the Integrity Commission.

“I am not trembling in my shoes,” Warner said on television, as the tribunal chaired by retired High Court judge Sebastien Ventour, probe the finances of the former senior government minister for the years 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011.

The appointment of the tribunal was made pursuant to Section 15 of the Integrity in Public Life Act (ILPA).

Last January, the Integrity Commission said it invoked the legislation to appoint the tribunal to probe Warner’s declarations of assets and income following a 2013 report by the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association (CONCACAF).

The report accused Warner of using deceptive methods to secure funds from CONCACAF and FIFA, as well as induce FIFA to transfer funds earmarked for development purposes to bank accounts he controlled.

The CONCACAF report also claims that Warner accepted money intended for FIFA that landed into his personal bank accounts.

But Warner, who resigned his ministerial position and was re-elected as a member of parliament in a subsequent by-election, has in the past dismissed the report.

Ventour told reporters that the purpose of the tribunal “is really to go deeper into the declarations made by Mr Warner” and that the work of the tribunal would not be done in public.

“As you probably all are aware under the Integrity in Public Life Act it’s an issue about secrecy so we cannot be divulging information and the tribunal will be conducted in privacy.

“It is not like the ordinary commission of enquiry although the powers are the same. We will be conducting the investigation in privacy. It is not a public issue at all so we have got to respect that,” he said, adding that if the tribunal members believed nine months were insufficient to complete the probe then it was up to the President to grant an extension.

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