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No Case On Jack

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warnerPort-of-Spain, Trinidad,( Tuesday 29th May,2012)-Works Minister Jack Warner has no case to answer with respect to allegations of bribery purported to have taken place at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, in Port of Spain on or about May 10, 2011.

 

"On the advice of the Director of Public Prosecutions, no further action can be taken in this matter," Commissioner of Police Dwayne Gibbs informed the Police Service Commission on March 21, 2012.

He said the matter was investigated by the Police Service and the DPP advised the matter can proceed no further.

The PSC has in turn passed on this information via letter dated May 7, 2012 to Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley.

Warner said yesterday he was so informed about one month ago about this matter by the Commissioner of Police and that this was "old news".

He also said he did not see the need to inform the population about this development.

"There are so many things that are more important in the country. There is so much work to be done that I can't worry about foolishness. I said from day one that there is nothing in the matter and I maintain that. But there are forces out there that are trying to recreate something from time immemorial and there is nothing that they can recreate," he said.

He also told CNC3 News said he was happy and felt vindicated and thanked the PM for having confidence in him.

There had been several calls for the Prime Minister to fire Warner when the bribery allegations first surfaced. In May 2010, Warner invited the heads of various Caribbean football associations to meet with FIFA presidential candidate Mohammed bin Hammam in Port of Spain.

At that meeting, several of the officials reported that over US$1 million was distributed to them in brown envelopes.

In June 2011, the Opposition had written to Gibbs about the possible breach of the laws of Trinidad and Tobago, including the Exchange Control Act, the Customs Act and generally the criminal law relating to bribery.

This had followed the suspension of Warner and bin Hammam by the FIFA Ethics Committee based on allegations that they were involved in a bribes-for-votes campaign.

Commenting on the decision of the DPP, Rowley said: "The DPP has to rely on the police to conduct an investigation into any matter. The DPP has no investigative power and it is only what the police put before the DPP that he can act on. And clearly what was put before the DPP has caused the matter to end in this way."

Rowley said yesterday what motivated his letter to the PSC was the initial reaction of the State institutions to the issue—the Comptroller of Customs —who said they would have known if the laws were breached; and Deputy Commissioner of Police Mervyn Richardson who had said there was nothing for the police to investigate.

He said in June, 2011, he then formally wrote to the Commissioner of Police requesting the police investigate the matter.

He said since then the police have been unable to identify to the public who the investigating officer was and which of the parties allegedly involved in the matter have been interviewed by them (the police).

Rowley said the public is also unaware whether the minister implicated in the matter has been interviewed or whether the police have interviewed persons who were witnesses to the alleged offence and who provided testimony in other proceedings in another jurisdiction.

He said the public was therefore not in the position to determine whether the investigation into this matter represented the best of the country's Police Service and whether it represents the only outcome into this matter.


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