PM: Jack can’t help UNC win local government elections

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Jack Warner addresses the UNC meeting on Monday. Photo by Anisto Alves – Anisto Alves

THE Prime Minister says former UNC chairman Jack Warner is no savior, and his new coalition with Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar and the National Transformation Alliance (NTA) will send TT over the precipice he claims they want to save it from.

In a television interview on Thursday, Dr Rowley said when he became opposition leader in 2010, he warned the country that Warner would be a national embarrassment because of the allegations of corruption against him as FIFA vice president.

Rowley said Warner now has the title of “international crook” over his head.

The UNC and NTA have formed an alliance for the August 14 local government elections. Warner announced he was joining Persad-Bissessar and Griffith at a UNC/NTA public meeting at the Centre of Excellence, Macoya on Monday.

Persad-Bissessar claimed that Warner asked her for no favours for him rejoining the UNC.

Warner boasted that together, he, Persad-Bissessar and Griffith were unstoppable.

“With Gary Griffith and myself and the best prime minister (Persad-Bissessar) this country has ever seen – that threesome – you have no cause to fear.”

On Thursday morning, Rowley said, “The closest we came to a precipice, is where he (Warner) took us.”

He said the Centre of Excellence where the UNC/NTA meeting was held has been regarded as “a monument of shame” with respect to the matters still hanging over Warner’s head.

Rowley said Warner cannot cause any swing in votes in any party of the country, including the East-West corridor, to threaten the PNM in the elections.

He also cited Warner’s electoral losses in the September 15 and August 10 general elections as proof of his depleted political capital.

Warner is still facing extradition to the US for corruption charges relating to when he was FIFA’s vice president.

On November 17, 2022, the Privy Council paved the way for the continuation of the proceedings to extradite Warner to the US to face the charges.

The London court held that the US request for Warner’s extradition was not unfair.

The proceedings in the local court stalled when Warner challenged the process by which the extradition proceedings against him were carried out and sought to quash the authority to proceed (ATP) signed by the Attorney General in September 2015. This was after the US asked for him to be extradited to face 29 charges of fraud, corruption and money laundering. The request was made on July 24, 2015.

After the September 7, 2015, general election, the then attorney general, Faris Al-Rawi, offered to allow Warner to make representations, but only on the condition the deadline for receipt of the ATP would be extended with his consent.

Warner refused to agree to the condition. His attorneys argued he was not given sufficient time to make representations, nor was he given disclosures of any evidence the US intended to use to secure his extradition.

The ATP gave the magistrate the green light to begin committal proceedings.

Warner is represented by Fyard Hosein, SC, Sasha Bridgemohansingh, Anil Maraj and Adam Hosein. Appearing for ASP Alleyne, who is acting on the request of the US, are James Lewis, KC, Douglas Mendes, SC, Pamela Elder, SC, Ravi Rajcoomar, SC, Netram Kowlessar and Ryan Rajcoomar.