Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 6th 2015 Contents Minimum wage still to be reviewed --- McLeod News --- Page A6
Saturday, June 6, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
A media melee was the best way to
describe the scene outside Parliament
yesterday, as embattled former Fifa
frontliner Jack Warner fled from foreign
media reporters who were manhandled
by some of his companions after Warner
refused to speak to the foreign press.
Foreign media personnel had come to
T&T from Sky News in the UK, Associated
Press (AP), Agence France Presse (AFP)
and Al Jazeera to interview Warner on
recent international events, including the
US Justice Department s move to indict
him---along with other Fifa officials---on
charges ranging from alleged bribery, cor-
ruption and racketeering to fraud.
Warner is now before the court fol-
lowing the execution of a provisional war-
rant last week and is also on Interpol s
Yesterday, Warner had gone to the Par-
liament to participate in debate on a
motion by Government concerning vari-
ation of 2015 finances. This involved shift-
ing unused sums from certain divisions
of Government to other areas to mainly
fund payments and other matters up to
September 2015. (See Page A5).
But Warner, who arrived late for the
10 am parliamentary sitting, was met by
reporters outside the Parliament. In that
episode, a camerawoman from AFP fell
to the ground in her pursuit of Warner.
She told the T&T Guardian that Warner s
bodyguard told her that she had "done
that to herself."
Other foreign media personnel---
reporters and a producer---later joined
local reporters in the parliament chamber,
focusing on Warner, who sat through the
morning s debate silently with his head
down. A big, burly man, part of his
entourage, sat close by in the public
Local parliament reporters from the
T&T Guardian, Express and Newsday
sent Warner a note requesting an inter-
view. But he sent back a note with the
reply: "Regretfully I put a halt to all media
interviews and I do thank you for your
During the lunch break, local and for-
eign reporters then attempted to speak
to Warner as he left the Parliament.
David Dowden, of London s Sky News,
asked Warner if he could speak with him.
Warner tersely replied that he was in his
Parliament and "I wouldn t do this in
your Parliament. Don t do it in mine!"
Warner was escorted by police as he
left the Parliament, and his companions---
people who appeared to be his body-
guards---then surrounded him as he left
through the parliament s doors. It was
the first time Warner s companions had
acted like bodyguards at the Parliament.
When he arrived on previous occasions
he had willingly spoken to local media
and answered queries freely, mainly com-
menting on the People s Partnership.
But yesterday, leaving the Parliament
in the presence of the foreign media,
Warner---companions closely following---
didn t seem as forthcoming.
As local and foreign media followed
Warner away from the Parliament, Dow-
den attempted to speak to him. However,
Warner s companion, in a white T-shirt,
loudly and harshly warned Dowden off,
pushing his open palm in reporters faces
and declaring, "No comments, no com-
ments, no comments!"
Dowden persisted, "Excuse me, Mr
Warner, why won t you explain?..."
Warner s companion, still blocking
Dowden, insisted, "No comments, no
Dowden protested, "Don t manhandle
Dowden again asked Warner why he
wouldn t speak.
Warner s companion, pushing him off
bodily, bellowed, "No comments! No com-
ments! No comments!"
Dowden asked him, "Will you stop
pushing me please?"
The other large man at Warner s side
asked Dowden, "Why you doh go in yuh
own country and behave like dat?"
AP cameraman Josh Rapogle took up
the questioning as Warner s group
attempted to push Dowden aside.
"What do you have against Sepp Blat-
ter?" Rapogle asked Warner
"No comments! No comments! No
comments!" shouted Warner s companion,
pushing Rapogle s equipment aside.
Rapogle warned, "Don t touch my cam-
He again pressed Warner, "What do
you have against Sepp Blatter?"
Dowden also asked Warner, "Mr Warner
as a Parliamentarian, do you think it s
right for your companions to assault me?"
Warner s assistants replied to Dowden,
American authorities have not yet
presented a formal request for former Fifa
official Jack Warner's extradition to the US,
Attorney General Garvin Nicholas told
He said nothing had occurred to show that
T&T would do anything but co-operate with
the system in the issue and the courts would
decide if Warner should be extradited, adding
that it wasn't for him to decide.
Asked by US reporters about Warner's
claims pertaining to Fifa funding and the T&T
elections, Nicholas said Warner had made a
lot of accusations over the years that had not
On Warner's claims of "damaging"
information about the Government regarding
Section 34, Nicholas said if he had any
evidence it should be taken to the police and
the Integrity Commission, which was also part
of T&T's investigating structure.
Nicholas said Warner hadn't presented his
office with evidence of his claims and he
wasn't interested in anyone who made
"That's seeking headlines," he said.
Nicholas said Warner was receiving the
same treatment and procedures as Ish
Galbaransingh, Steve Ferguson and others.
"We're following it to the letter," he said.
Nicholas also said if Warner had a genuine
concern for his life he should go to the police,
who would assess his vulnerability and
provide security if they felt it necessary.
PP House leader Dr Roodal Moonilal,
addressing Warner's claims, said, "Mr Warner
is a desperate man and this is a case of
desperation leading to disillusion, I hope he co-
operates with authorities and seeks to clear
Moonilal also said TTFF president Raymond
Tim Kee yesterday made a "very irresponsible
statement and failed to provide any evidence
of any activity he claimed. I can't remember
the last time the UNC had a dinner banquet. I
hope it wasn't a private function and Mr
Warner tried to defraud TTFF by claiming it
was a UNC matter."
"Move! Move! Move!"
"What gives you the right to assault me?" Dow-
den tried again.
He asked Warner, "Mr Warner why won t you
talk to us...if you ve got nothing to hide, why won t
you talk to us?"
Reporters followed Warner to his car, still
attempting to ask questions after he was seated
inside, to no avail.
Warner didn t immediately return to Parliament
after lunch, but turned up later and contributed
to debate on the variation motion, criticising Gov-
He also spoke about "exposing the Government"
in his Sunshine newspaper, in response to which
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar said it was
offensive to hear him speak about good governance
and "condemning corruption," whereupon she
packed up her things and walked out.
Jack's bodyguards manhandle press
Journalists cry assault
Chaguanas West MP Jack Warner, right, chats with PNM MPs Paula Gopee-Scoon and
Donna Cox, left, during yesterday's sitting of Parliament, at Tower D, International
Waterfront Centre, Port-of-Spain. PHOTO: MARCUS GONZALES
NO OFFICIAL EXTRADITION
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