AG RESPONDS TO WARNER’S CLAIM OF GOVERNMENT INTERFERENCE INTO FIFA/CONCACAF MATTER
I wish to deny the baseless allegation that the government is influencing FIFA and CONCACAF to take legal action against former FIFA Vice President Jack Warner.
I also wish to dismiss the ridiculous suggestion that this matter was raised or discussed by the Cabinet last Thursday. That Mr. Warner still harbors such delusions of political grandeur, to think that his legal woes and troubles with FIFA will be the subject be the discussion by the Cabinet, is amusing.
I have made the necessary inquiries and can confirm that the three caveats referred to in today’s newspapers are in fact authentic and bona fide. These caveats were lodged on March 28th, 2013 for CONCACAF by the law firm JD Sellier & Co.
The procedure for filing caveats is such that the property owner (Mr. Warner) is notified of the fact that the caveat has been lodged against his property. If the property is mortgaged, the bank would have an interest in the property and is likewise also notified. I am advised that this procedure was in fact followed and hence Mr. Warner’s attempt to feign ignorance about the existence of the caveat is absurd, theatrical and hypocritical
Mr. Warner would have been notified when these caveats were lodged since March 2013 because they have serious implications and consequences for the legal right of the owner. It is an encumberance on the title that restricts the ability of the owner to sell, transfer, lease or otherwise deal with or dispose of the subject property. A prospective purchaser will discover these caveats when a title search is conducted and they will buy the centre of Excellence subject to FIFA’s legal claims.
The owner can remove this restriction by filing an application by court to dispute the claim upon which the caveat is based. Mr. Warner has filed no such application in the High Court to challenge or dispute the claims made by FIFA that it provided over $103M TTD ($16M USD) to purchase the land and finance the construction of the Centre of Excellence for the benefit of regional soccer.
Instead, he has simply made the hollow and incredible claim that this money was a personal gift from FIFA to him. It is doubtful whether the rules of FIFA would permit it to simply offer $103M TTD as a personal gift to anyone. The report from the FIFA Ethics Committees is instructive in this regard.
It is ironic on that day when I am the subject of attacks and vilification by MATT and the Express newspapers, that I can be accused of having too much influence over the media so that I can use it to attack Mr. Warner .Furthermore I have no influence whatsoever over FIFA and CONCACAF or else Mr. Warner would not have been allowed to resign or abscond without appearing before the FIFA ethics committee.
The allegation that this is part of a wider plan to discredit Jack Warner is nonsensical as the documents speak for themselves .Mr. Warner does a fantastic job of discrediting himself on his own and does not require my help to do so.
Dated:Wednesday 16th April, 2014.
MINISTRY OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
REPUBLIC OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO