US still mum on probe
PORT OF SPAIN — Uncle Sam is still silent.
Attorney General Anand Ramlogan admitted yesterday that the United States Government had not yet responded to this Government’s request for information on reports of a Federal Bureau of Investigation probe in which Daryan Warner, son of National Security Minister Jack Warner, is a cooperating witness.
Ramlogan was responding to questions on the matter at the post-Cabinet news conference at the Office of the Prime Minister, St. Clair.
“We’ve been in the Parliament for the past two days and I’ve been in Cabinet today. I don’t know if anything has reached my desk but I would highly doubt it. A matter such as this with a request from one Attorney General to the other is one that will take some time, it has to go through the normal diplomatic channels,” he said.
“Our local (US) Embassy, his Excellency Mr. Thomas Smitham, he has in fact been liaising and trying to coordinate as well to give that assistance,” he added.
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar in a release last weekend admitted that there was no response yet from the United States regarding the FBI probe.
Reuters reported on March 28 that there was an FBI probe into allegations of FIFA corruption and Warner’s son, Daryan Warner, was a cooperating witness in the matter.
Jack Warner, a former CONCACAF president, resigned as FIFA vice president and all other football organisations last year following allegations of bribery for votes in FIFA’s presidential elections.
Following the Reuters report, Persad-Bissessar instructed the AG and Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Dookeran to obtain confirmation through diplomatic channels.
Ramlogan has written to US Attorney General Eric Holder seeking information on the issue.
The Prime Minister has stated that she would not rely on media reports and would seek to get information on the issue through official channels as it would be premature for her to act without any official information from US authorities.
Ramlogan said the People’s Partnership Government has to wait for a response.
“We’ll have to wait and see until we hear from them but as of today’s date, I haven’t been in the office for the past three days but I don’t think that anything has come,” he said.
‘Lack of trust’
Opposition Senator Fitzgerald Hinds said on Tuesday that the US Government had not yet responded to this Government because of a lack of trust. Ramlogan yesterday noted a release from the US Embassy – on the State’s move to extradite Doreen Alexander- which spoke to the diplomatic ties between both countries.
Ramlogan read from the release: “The US Embassy recognises the valuable assistance of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, especially the Attorney General Anand Ramlogan in effecting the extradition of Doreen Alexander. The Embassy also recognises the important of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service, the Anti Kidnapping Squad, the Homicide Bureau for their role in the investigation. This latest extradition underscores the continuing diplomatic and law enforcement cooperation between both countries”.
He then said: “Those who are trying to create mischief by suggesting diplomatic rift between Trinidad and Tobago and the United States, this press release is perhaps timely in putting that to rest and shelving that whole issue. It is clearly raised by the Opposition as part of the ordinary political mischief that one expects in the dynamism and fluidity of local politics.” Ramlogan said some felt that since businessmen Ishwar Galbaransingh and Steve Ferguson were not extradited then it would pose a problem for other extraditions. The AG said two or three extraditions took place since this issue was raised.
He added that both men were currently before the courts.
“People seem to forget you know, the Government and the Attorney General in fact extradited those two defendants. I signed that extradition order. It was the Court of Appeal that reversed the judgment in favour of the Attorney General made by the Honourable Justice Joan Charles,” said Ramlogan.
“The first instance judgment in the matter of section 34 and the repeal is scheduled to be delivered at 1:15 p.m. on Friday (today) by the Honourable Justice Madame Mira Dean Armorer, whichever way it goes that is a matter ultimately that will run the first spectrum of the legal system and end up at the Privy Council,” he added. (Express)