PORT OF SPAIN: Any hope which Jack Warner’s critics maintained of holding him to account for a variety of issues appear to have vanished for ever after he was appointed Minister of National Security in Trinidad and Tobago.
Warner’s promotion from Minister of Works – which he had filled in typically flamboyant way – was announced as part of a major Cabinet reorganisation by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar.
Warner was the subject of a police investigation for his role in organising a FIFA presidential campaign conference for Qatari Mohamed Bin Hammam in Port of Spain in May last year.
Bin Hammam and Warner and around two dozen delegates from the Caribbean Football Union later faced FIFA ethics charges concerning bribery allegations. Warner walked away from all his highly-visible, high-powered football roles and has concentrated entirely on his political career ever since.
Controvery arose earlier this year over whether the police investigation, concerning allegations of illegal importation of money, had been called off or not.
However Persad-Bissessar would not, clearly, have appointed Warner to a highly sensitive role if there were the slightest possibility of charges ever being brought against him.
Opposition Leader Keith Rowley criticised the appointment which, he thought, “should be a matter of concern for all the right-thinking citizens of Trinidad and Tobago.”
Rowley added: “It is public knowledge that in the conduct of his private affairs in the various FIFA scandals he has found it necessary to engage in unseemly and embarrassing verbal wars with offices of the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
“These are not only our two major international partners, but their enthusiastic cooperation in the fight against the international drug trade is absolutely essential to succeed in our fight against crime. The Prime Minister’s choice of Mr Warner for this particular post borders on irresponsibility and once again confirms her misguided view that Trinidad and Tobago’s international image counts for nothing”.
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