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Fifa scandal: Jack Warner legal's battle could easily go on for years

By Robert Jones

Published 08/06/2015

Former Fifa vice-president Jack Warner
Former Fifa vice-president Jack Warner

Jack Warner's legal battle against extradition to the United States on corruption charges could 'possibly last years' and even end up being heard by the Privy Council, the Attorney General of Trinidad has said.

The former Fifa vice-president is currently on bail in Trinidad after being one of the people indited by US authorities over allegations of racketeering, wire fraud and money-laundering conspiracies spanning 24 years.

American whistleblower Chuck Blazer has said he and others took bribes totalling 10million US dollars for South Africa to host the 2010 World Cup and an undisclosed sum for Morocco's unsuccessful bid to host the 1998 tournament, sworn testimony which is contained in a plea bargain published by the US Department of Justice.

The South African Football Association has denied the claims and is angered by the reports and believes they tarnish both the reputation of the organisation and some of the country's most prominent personalities.

In 2008, the then SAFA president Molefi Oliphant sent a letter to Fifa secretary general Jerome Valcke saying that 10million US dollars should be administered directly by Warner.

The money was intended to support football in the Caribbean, SAFA said.

It has been alleged Warner used some of the funds for credit card payments and personal loans and that JTA Supermarkets, a large chain in Trinidad, received 4.86million US dollars from the accounts.

In the three transactions, on 4 January, 1 February and 10 March 2008, funds totalling 10million US dollars (£6.5million on current exchange rates) from FIFA accounts were received into CONCACAF accounts controlled by Warner.

Former FIFA vice-president Warner has denied any wrongdoing, claiming during a televised address in Trinidad last Wednesday that he would reveal an "avalanche" of documents in support of his case and also prove a link between football's governing body and his nation's elections in 2010.

Channel 4 News were given permission to film Warner in his constituency office, but he refused to answer the reporter's questions on the corruption scandal.

Attorney General of Trinidad Garvin Nicholas, however, did speak on camera.

He indicated the complex legal nature of the on-going case was unlikely to resolve itself quickly.

When asked if Trinidad would like to be rid of Mr Warner "once and for all", Nicholas responded: "We would like to get rid of the problem, that is accusations being made against a national that is bringing the country into disrepute.

"But we would also want to ensure that all the rights for any individual are maintained."

Belfast Telegraph

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