Jack Warner is either a brilliant poker player or a complete fool, and there's a judge down in Trinibago who may be about to make the final call on that as early as tomorrow. Last September, in return for T&T Justice Devindra Rampersad declining to include Warner as a defendant in the player's lawsuit, Warner promised to hand over to the court all pertinent financial records related to the Soca Warriors 2006 World Cup campaign.
Oliver Camps, the resigned-in-disgrace former President of the T&TFF - and a longtime Jack Warner loyal stooge who is being hung out to dry - had previously told Judge Rampersand that the organization had no records whatsoever since the entire effort was personally managed by Warner himself.
Ever since that time, the court has been waiting for the documents Warner promised, and finally demanding that they be turned over no later than last Friday.
Today, thanks to the inestimable Lasana Liburd at Wired868 (please give the guy a hit) we now know what happened:
On Thursday, Warner sent a letter to the T&TFF offices where, sitting around on the floor since all the furniture is missing, someone opened it and read how Warner is now claiming that THEY have all the records after all and that he has nothing more to give them.
(This after telling the media just last week that it was all on him personally and that going after Camps and the T&TFF was completely unfair, as they had nothing to do with it)
So the Friday deadline came and went and the Judge got not so much as a word from Warner in response to her order.
Now I'd be the first guy to admit that I have next to no knowledge of how the Trinidad & Tobago court system works. Maybe down there judges simply shrug and say "Oh well, pass the rum" and crank up some Soca.
I guess it's possible.
But if T&T is anything like most other places, federal judges generally get pretty damned cranky when some clown makes a deal like Warner did in return for producing some records, then waits six months, ignores a deadline or two, doesn't so much as mail in an explanation and then marches out and tells the media he doesn't have any friggin clue what the fuss is about.
In the US at least, that's a great way to see the inside of a jail cell and meet new and interesting guys who want to have sex with you.
A hearing is scheduled for tomorrow where the judge and all the parties to the suit were scheduled to sit down with Jack's records and figure out where to go from here.
Instead, I would imagine that poor Oliver Camps is going to have to sit there and watch as the players are handed the order seizing all his personal assets that the players have requested.
As for Jack: well, it's anybody's guess.
Since his lawyer, a gentleman with the prosaic name of Om Lolla, also represents the T&TFF, Jack will be represented whether he wants to be or not. The judge was always foolish for allowing that to go on.
Be that as it may, it's possible Warner has decided that he's run out of wiggle room and has to make a choice:
Either hand over the records and lose deniability when his thefts become a matter of public record and get splashed across the front page of every newspaper in the country, or claim he's done nothing wrong, is a victim of his political enemies or Sepp Blatter or the Zionists or the Forces of International Freemasonry or whatever other fairy tale he can come up with.
At least this way he can play the victim and the government - of which he remains a very powerful part - can continue to claim that they're "monitoring" the situation instead of being forced to bring criminal charges.
(Speaking of which, Liburd also notes that court records reveal that the only payment the players have received pursuant to the court order was US$1.1 million, which was delivered immediately after Mohammad Bin Hammam left the island. Gosh, talk about a coincidence.)
The fact is that Jack Warner has never been the least bit subtle or clever in any meaningful way. Mostly he's a thug who has always done whatever he wanted, stole whatever he felt like stealing more or less in broad daylight and counted on Sepp Blatter and/or his friends in the government to protect him.
When cornered, he responds with loud bluster, outrageous lies and ridiculous counter-accusations. It's always worked in the past.
Whether it will continue to do so remains to be seen, but the bet here is that Jack's f8inally running out of luck, time and friends.