PORT-OF-SPAIN: Jack Warner has snapped back again at the CONCACAF integrity inquiry report which accused him of serious financial mismanagement during his two decades as president of the regional confederation.
Warner, who quit last month as Trinidad’s National Security Minister because of the weight of accusations, had voluntarily walked away from a string of senior world football roles in 2011 rather than answer bribery allegations.
The report, from a panel led by former Barbados chief justice Sir David Simmons, 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.
However Warner, in a written statement, countered: “The procedure used to gather information was flawed because it authorized counsel to conduct necessary interviews in person, by telephone and without reference to the committee.
“In other words some people did not even know why they were giving the information. These witnesses imparted their information without taking oath and in the absence of the members of the committee who must now look at that information and make findings.”
Warner, who has always denied any wrongdoing and all accusations of impropriety, said his counter-attack was s supported by the legal opinions of Justice Zainool Hosein, Andrew Mitchell QC and Bertram E. Commissiong QC.
He said: “Pronouncements as to the culpability and guilt of Jack Warner . . . cannot be supported by the evidence and the facts.”
Warner added: “The conclusions appear to be driven by a desire to castigate, malign and punish rather than to present a true and fair representation of the state of affairs and or the circumstances surrounding a number of transactions addressed in the committee’s report”.
The CONCACAF report also claims that Warner accepted money intended for FIFA that landed into his personal bank accounts.
Warner insisted he was not questioning the inquiry team comprising Simmons, Judge Ricardo Urbina and Ernesto Hempe “but the independence and fairness of both the process and findings”.
He added: “ I want you to be mindful of our past that Jack Warner has been sanctioned, castigated and maligned; treated as guilty without due process or an investigation into the publication of documents to determine its veracity or validity.
“I have been a victim of a degree of intrigue and collusion of the highest level.”
Warner, on quitting his vice-presidency of world federation FIFA in 2011, had threatened a “football tsunami.”