Former Fifa vice president Jack Warner turned himself over to police in Trinidad and Tobago today, shortly after they issued an arrest warrant at the request of authorities in the US, where he was one of 14 people linked to international soccer indicted on corruption charges.
Warner appeared in court, where a judge read 12 charges against him and then granted him 2.5 million US dollars bail on certain conditions, including that he surrender his passport and report to police twice a week. Warner did not enter a plea and is scheduled to appear in court again on July 12.
The attorney general’s office in Trinidad and Tobago said it had been working with the US Justice Department for about a year regarding the investigation of Warner, who was forced out of Fifa in 2011 over a bribery scandal.
Warner, who is an opposition member of Parliament in the twin-island nation, can be extradited to the US under a bilateral treaty following a hearing.
“Mr Warner is entitled to a fair extradition process and both the requesting and requested states intend to abide by the provisions of the treaty to ensure that Mr. Warner’s rights are respected,” the attorney general said in a statement.
Earlier in the day, Warner denied any wrongdoing, as he has previously when confronted with allegations that he enriched himself while an official with the global soccer governing body and as a president of Concacaf, the federation’s North American regional organisation.
Warner, who left soccer in 2011 to avoid Fifa sanctions during that year’s Fifa presidential election, said he was not questioned in the investigation that led to the indictment and to guilty pleas on related charges for two of his sons.
“I have been afforded no due process and I have not even been questioned in this matter,” he said in a statement. “I reiterate that I am innocent of any charges. I have walked away from the politics of world football to immerse myself in the improvement of lives in this country where I shall, God willing, die.”
In a brief phone conversation with the Associated Press, Warner declined to comment further and said he did not have enough information about the guilty pleas of his sons to comment. “I can’t say anything about what I don’t know about.”
Warner represents the constituency of Chaguanas West in Parliament. His term is due to expire when the session ends on June 17.
Later, he told TV6 that US authorities “know where to find me” and added “I sleep very soundly in the night.”