Daryll Warner, one of the sons of Chaguanas West MP Jack Warner, is in Trinidad and Tobago for the rest of the week before he heads to New York, USA, for Labour Day celebrations next Monday.
The younger Warner, who has been the subject of rumours about him and his elder brother Daryan’s inability to travel outside of the United States, spoke to the Express yesterday while at the Twist Bar on Ariapita Avenue in Woodbrook.
He had earlier had a lengthy lunch at Aioli Restaurant in Ellerslie Plaza and was expected to stop by at the Trini Posse stand at the Queen’s Park Oval last night for the cricket match between Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel and Guyana Amazon Warriors in the Limacol Caribbean Premier League semi-final.
Daryll told the Express he was meeting Daryan in New York next week but could not confirm whether his brother will also travel back to Trinidad and Tobago.
“He’s in New York right now. Like me, he can travel anytime he wants but flights are full,” said Daryll, adding that he paid US$862 for his ticket home.
“How come no one wanted to purchase a ticket for me to come home? I would have welcomed that because ticket prices are expensive,” he said in reference to a group who called themselves “Friends of Jack Warner” who had purchased a first-class one way ticket for his elder brother to come back to Trinidad before the Chaguanas West by-election on July 29.
His brother had responded that he would utilise the gift if he received a cheque for double his 2011 earnings which had amounted to close to $6 million.
Daryll, who described himself as a “simpleton”, said his family has been subject of relentless harassment over “allegations” which cost his father his Cabinet position.
Questioned on whether he or his brother were co-operating witnesses in an investigation by US agencies into world soccer governing body, FIFA, he said it was “all allegations”.
“I have heard I was in jail, that I was under house arrest, that I can’t leave Miami or I can’t travel. But I don’t feel compelled to respond to those things,” he said.
When the Express pointed out that his brother did address those issues with the Express, he replied: “My brother has kids and a family so he was compelled to respond. I am a bachelor. I have nothing to hide. I have no problems. I am just enjoying life.”
Asked whether he felt it was the media or the politicians who made an issue of the Warner brothers not being in Trinidad, he quickly replied that it was “politics”.
“What happens here is all gutter politics. It was desperation on the part of the United National Congress (UNC). If they have an issue with Jack, that is their issue. It does not define his children,” he said.
Daryll said he was “elated” that his father had won the Chaguanas West by-election, as “no good deed goes unpunished”.
“The by-election showed that people could pick sense from nonsense. Jack has always tried to help anyone he could. He used his position in FIFA and in politics to help people. I am happy for him. You have to get past the thorns in a rose to get to the rose, you know. Is Jack Warner perfect? No. But his heart is in the right place,” he said.
In February, Warner, who was then national security minister, had challenged anyone who wanted to know his sons’ whereabouts to contact them and had dared the media to publish anything about them. This was at the time of widespread rumours that they had been detained in Miami.
In March, Reuters News Agency published a report by Mark Hosenball which stated that Daryan Warner was a “co-operating witness” in an investigation into allegations of corruption in FIFA.
Jack Warner has consistently maintained his innocence of all allegations.
During the by-election campaign, Warner had appealed to Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar to leave his family alone after she raised concern about Concacaf’s Integrity Report which had accused Warner of fraud in his management of the organisation.
Those allegations, the Prime Minister had said, had dogged Warner’s political career.
Asked why he has not visited Trinidad and Tobago in the past nine months, Daryll said he intentionally stayed out.
He said he arrived “hassle-free” into Trinidad on Tuesday and hoped that his exit would be the same.