Five years after the US Attorney in the Eastern District of New York exposed the sordid side of international soccer, a Superseding Indictment has now been filed, with additional charges, against many of the corrupt players. The most noteworthy are the allegations that FIFA Vice President Jack Warner accepted five million dollars in bribes, in exchange for World Cup voting, and the sale of media & broadcast rights.
The new charges include money laundering, wire fraud and racketeering, which add to similar charges filed back in 2015. Warner has been banned from FIFA for life. The new allegations charge warner, and others, with engaging in schemes that involved the solicitation, offer, acceptance, payment and receipt of undisclosed and illegal payments, bribes and kickbacks.
Most legal observers believe that FIFA official Jeffrey Webb, who pled guilty years ago, but has not been sentenced, is to be the principal witness at trial against Warner, when he is eventually extradited. The US has long sought Warner's extradition from his native Trinidad & Tobago, and the unnecessary court delays, reportedly facilitated by local politicians, have cast doubt upon Trinidad's adherence to the Rule of Law, and placed it in the same category as that notable Caribbean legal scofflaw, Antigua & Barbuda, which protected Leroy King from American justice for more than a decade. Warner's lawyers have successfully prevented his extradition to date through bogus, but successive, losing appellate efforts, on procedural and not substantive grounds, and they next plan to appeal to the Privy Council. Warner's public statements during the proceedings have been blatantly anti-American.
If Trinidad will not allow Warner to face an American courtroom, its international reputation will surely suffer. When Caribbean extradition cases drag on for years, justice is delayed and denied. Warner is a legal permanent resident of the US.
|Is Trinidad the new Antigua ?
Readers who wish to review the 53 count Superseding Indictment, filed on April 10, 2020, mat access the complete text here.