Hinds to Gibbs: Probe bribery allegations

Hinds asked Gibbs to say whether or not the police service has started or intends to start an investigation into the allegations of bribery against Warner which have been in the public domain since last week. The senator said a local police investigation into the allegations, which surround events which took place in this country in May, is “necessary”.

“In furtherance of your duty to uphold the integrity of the laws of Trinidad and Tobago and the preservation of law and order, I hereby make enquiry as to whether the Police Service has commenced or intends to initiate the necessary investigations into these matters,” Hinds wrote.

“The allegations are now the subject of an investigation by the world football governing body FIFA.”

Hinds noted that the allegations relate to a meeting which took place in May at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Wrightson Road, Port-of-Spain.

“It is alleged that sums amounting to (TT$6.3 million) US $1 million were distributed by way of bribes to participants at a Caribbean Football Union delegation meeting and that these monies may have been improperly imported into the country,” Hinds said.

The PNM Senator advised that there are issues under several laws including the Exchange Control Act and the Customs Act and generally other “laws relating to bribery”.

Warner is expected to attend today’s sitting of the Senate at question time in order to respond to questions filed by Hinds about the issuance of contracts for the lighting of the runaways at the Piarco and ANR Robinson International Airports. Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley yesterday urged the Government to take action on Warner, who has been subject to calls for him to step aside from his ministerial portfolio.

“The whole country is tarnished by these allegations,” he said, speaking at a press conference at the Office of the Opposition Leader, Charles Street, Port-of-Spain. Rowley noted that he had argued that Warner’s holding of a FIFA post while being a member of Cabinet was a violation of the Parliamentary Code of Ethics since last year.

“These are the standards that the Government of Trinidad and Tobago today finds itself in and is asking people to accept because some people are above the law and the code of ethics.”

Rowley noted that those objecting to Warner staying in post are not just PNM members but also members of the COP. Rowley appeared to liken the situation of Warner being kept in office to a woman allowing a wife-beater to enter her house. “All over Trinidad and Tobago there are women who knowingly allow abusive men (who provide resources) to access their homes,” he said. “If those are the standards in this country then God help us.”


"Hinds to Gibbs: Probe bribery allegations"

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