Ex-FIFA VP Jack Warner to 'fight US extradition’
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Jack Warner, a disgraced former FIFA official from Trinidad and Tobago who now faces extradition to the US over suspected corruption, on Thursday told FRANCE 24’s sister station RFI that he would fight such a move tooth and nail.
“I will fight my extradition. The US has no guns that I am aware of, wanting me to be tried in their country. I committed no offence against the US. I have no account in the US. I deposited no money in the US. I wired no money to or from the US. So let them show me the evidence as to why it is they want me extradited,” he told RFI’s Rosie Collyer in an exclusive interview.
Warner, a former vice president of the governing football body, is one of 14 people wanted by the United States on suspicion of soliciting bribes worth millions. He has been charged with multiple offences, including racketeering and bribery. He has denied the charges and was released on bond after his arrest last week.
Warner is considered a key figure in the snowball drama that led to FIFA President Sepp Blatter's shock resignation on Tuesday.
In a paid political broadcast shown in his home country on Wednesday, he said he had an “avalanche” of secrets that include a link between FIFA and the 2010 general election in Trinidad and Tobago as well as damaging details related to Blatter.
Warner said he had documents to show "a link between FIFA, its funding and me, the link between FIFA its funding and the United National Congress (UNC) and the People's Partnership government in (Trinidad and Tobago's) general election 2010."
He added that the material he has "deals with my knowledge of international transactions at FIFA, including its president Mr Sepp Blatter and, lastly, other matters involving (Trinidad and Tobago's) current prime minister."
In the interview with RFI, he said he had kept those “secrets” to himself until now because he was a minister in Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s government until 2013.
“Against all the odds I have remained silent but I feel with the prime minister going to the parliament and putting those charges in the Hansard [the parliamentary record] and … to sign my extradition, that kind of thing is heinous and so I decided to speak out,” he said.
Earlier Wednesday, US investigators revealed that former FIFA official Chuck Blazer has admitted to taking bribes during the campaigns to choose host countries for the 1998 and 2010 World Cups, held in France and South Africa.
“Chuck is saying anything and everything to save his skin. And so many of the things he has been saying just don't make sense,” Warner said about the confession.
“Let me ask you something: South Africa got the rights to host the World Cup in 2004 … Why is it in 2010, six years later, should we get any money for that right? Why take six years after they got the rights to the World Cup to pay a bribe?”