28 Mar 2013

Diplomatic Immunity?

The situation on the Rock has gone completely ridiculous.

Sometime ago, News agencies reported that a certain minister's sons were debarred from leaving the United States. Subsequent reports have revealed that “Daryan Warner, the son of National Security Minister
Jack Warner, was a cooperating witness for the FBI and Internal Revenue Service (IRS)."

The FBI and IRS are probing corruption into FIFA and "among the issues being probed are allegations involving
Jack Warner, a former FIFA Vice President, who resigned the position June 2011 amid allegations of bribery." Among the allegations are offshore payments to Chuck Blazer over a 20 year period.


Since at least the summer of 2011, the FBI has been examining more than $500,000 (330,600 pounds) in payments made by the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) over the past 20 years to an offshore company headed by top U.S. football official Chuck Blazer. That was a period during which Jack Warner was also head of the CFU, a position he held from the early 1980s until 2011. [Reuters]


In spite of the seriousness of these reports, the Prime Minister has refused to remove Jack from his post pending investigations. While nothing has been proven, Trinidad and Tobago is a laughing stock of the world. Here we have a person under investigation for corruption leading the security forces (who would have to cooperate with the US authorities). The silence of the PM is astounding, as is that of the AG, the leader of the COP (Prakash Ramadhar) et al.


To make matters more ridiculous, reports have indicated that Jack is fearful of entering US space but as Minister of National Security, can very well issue himself a diplomatic passport. What does this mean? Does this mean that he can visit the United States on the diplomatic immunity and return? Will the USA recognise diplomatic immunity if Jack issues himself a diplomatic passport?

Not even in his best and most creative moments could Shakespeare have created such a scene. Neither could Ralph Maharaj for that matter.

Still, Vernon De Lima has the last word:

"He is entitled to have his side of the story heard, and I am confident that he would shortly visit the USA and clear up all those allegations that may very well be spurious. It is only fair to him, after all.”