Former FIFA Vice President and influential Trinidad and Tobago politician, Austin Jack Warner, was taken into police custody this afternoon in connection with the deepening corruption investigation being pursued by US authorities.
Warner is among fourteen defendants, who’ve been indicted on 47 counts of racketeering, money laundering and corruption spanning 24 years.
Several FIFA executives and sports marketing representatives were arrested in Zurich, Switzerland this morning as part of the investigation being led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI.
The officials were arrested as they gathered in Zurich ahead of Friday’s election, where Sepp Blatter is up for a fifth term as President.
For years Austin Jack Warner wielded power in the halls of international football and the politics of Trinidad and Tobago.
Warner, a controversial figure, faced perhaps his lowest moment this afternoon when he was summoned by the Police in Trinidad and appeared before a criminal court.
His attorney Fyard Hosein told the Court that Warner had voluntarily surrendered to the police on learning that a warrant had been issued for his arrest.
TV6 reporter, Joshua Swemungal, who was in Court and spoke to our news center shortly before news time said Mr. Warner had been offered bail but it’s not certain whether he’ll spend the night in jail.
According to the TV6 reporter, Mr. Warner appeared a scared man.
Warner’s court appearance came hours after the US Department of Justice requested that he be extradited to face several charges in connection to his time as a senior FIFA executive.
For years, Jack Warner also served as President of the powerful Caribbean Football Union where he forged a close relationship with the current Vice President of the union, Captain Horace Burrell.
Calls placed this afternoon to Captain Burrell’s mobile phone were not answered.
The Jamaica Football Federation boss is reportedly in Europe on his way to Switzerland for the FIFA congress.
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