Jack Warner might have been up to his old tricks again yesterday as he tried to acquire some moral ground before filing his nomination form to run for the Chaguanas West seat. Typically, he tried to purchase the moral ground by suspicious means.
Warner waved a booklet that supposedly contained legal opinions from retired Justice of Appeal Zainool Hosein, Andrew Mitchell SC and Betram Commissiong QC. The media took his word for it. Hey, if you can’t trust Warner, then who can you trust?
Hosein, according to Warner, said CONCACAF: “selected, sponsored and has employed the members of the investigating committee.”
There was no accompanying proof that Sir David Simmons is now a CONACAF employee. Nor did Warner say why it was different to him selecting, sponsoring and employing Hosein, Mitchell and Commissiong to furnish him with legal opinions.
Commissiong, who supposedly taught Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar at Law School, declared that the former Minister of National Security was a “scapegoat” since: “the evidence and allegations against Jack Warner are no more serious than those against other leading officials in FIFA and Concacaf.”
Commissiong, apparently, did not suggest why anyone else’s guilt should lead to Warner’s acquittal while Mr Live Wire is unsure of the research that aided his professional opinion.
Mitchell, according to the booklet, found two supposedly telling flaws in the investigation. He pointed out to a “preponderance of material which would have shown that if the Centre of Excellence did belong to Concacaf, as they suggest, rent was being paid by themselves to themselves, which has the appearance of lacking logic.”
Arguably, Mitchell might agree it makes more sense if he considers that Warner was the CONCACAF president and his pal, Chuck Blazer, was the general secretary and chief financial officer. In that light, it was more Warner paying Warner than CONCACAF paying CONCACAF.
Mitchell’s next assertion, as published in the Trinidad Guardian, clinched the weight of Warner’s legal opinions.
“It is simply unacceptable to condemn someone without offering the chance to respond to the allegations—no such opportunity was offered,” said Mitchell.
In his lengthy parting speech at Pierre Road, Charlieville, Warner said that he refused to talk to the CONCACAF investigators since FIFA had not paid his pension.
The CONCACAF Integrity Report noted that investigators: “corresponded with Warner and Blazer in an effort to secure their participation in the investigation and their evidence, but each declined the Committee’s request… This lack of evidence, however, was counterbalanced by credible documentary evidence that spoke clearly and cogently about the conduct of each of them.”
Did Mitchell read the Integrity Report? Did he listen to Warner’s Pierre Road speech on the matter?
Opposition Leader Keith Rowley can only hope he is much better at verifying his own e-claims in Parliament today. Or else Warner might not be the only high profile political disintegration this month.
Regardless of Warner’s questionable claims, today’s Trinidad Express headline read: “Legal opinions ‘clear’ Jack.” In that vein, Mr Live Wire wonders whether Warner really needs the Sunshine newspaper.
As the elders would point out: Why buy the cow if you’re getting the milk for free?