Trinidad & Tobago's lead attorney Deryck Ali appeared at the Port of Spain High Court this morning and told Justice Devindra Rampersad that the organization is initiating a lawsuit against Jack Warner for an amount exceeding $100 million. Even in US dollars - which would be a little over $15 million - that's still a big pile of cash.
Faced with the choice of a) doing something about Warner or b) going straight to jail, T&TFF President Richard Groden had little choice, although it's remarkable how far they were willing to push the patience of the court before doing the right thing.
Ali told the court that Warner will be handed a "pre-action letter" before the close of business today.
Additionally, it is expected that the move will be met with approval in Zurich, where FIFA too has been waiting for some kind of accounting explaining just what happened to US$750,000 in funds they designated for Haitian earthquake relief in early 2010.
Specifically, FIFA may very well decide to release the federation's US250,000 yearly disbursement check, which they embargoed last week pending developments. FIFA was primarily concerned that if the T&TFF was given the money that it would only end up getting seized by the court along with everything else and used to pay off Warner's debts.
Even at that, Ali started out by telling the court that he was very busy with some other stuff and that he couldn't begin work on the Warner action until early April. The judge told him that he could at least send the pre-action letter. Ali replied that he didn't think that would be necessary.
The judge felt otherwise and Ali was ordered to begin formal proceedings no later than April 3.
The judge also decided that the player's suit was too far along for Warner to be joined to it, so the T&TFF suit will be treated as a separate action, and the player's attorney agreed.
In separate news of the desperate and despicable, Jack Warner told Trinidad & Tobago TV station CTV that he is going to sue crusading T&T journalist Lasana Liburd for - and I believe this is correct - "seventy-leven bazillion dollars" for recent Tweets from his wired868 account..
Warner feels he has been libeled and slandered and otherwise talked mean about and he's going to be putting a stop to it.
He also implied that he would be suing Twitter, along with anyone who re-tweeted anything Liburd wrote.
If it was possible to actually "laugh out loud" using a keyboard, I'd now be LOL'ing my little fingers off.
Leaving aside the fact that I'd dearly love to see him try and sue Twitter, and that fact that everything Liburd has written has been a quote from a primary source - he does very very little opinion - there's simply this:
Even Jack Warner is not deranged enough to show up and be deposed on any of the topics in question, or respond to a demand for bank records and documentation. SImply not going to happen.
In a deposition or in open court he wouldn't be able to reply to every question with some rambling discourse on how he's being persecuted by his enemies. He'll actually have to answer the questions.
And that is never, ever, EVER going to happen. Not next month or next year or ever. In truth, he's going to be very lucky if he doesn't somehow end up having to answer those same questions in front of a jury.
This threat is a pretty clear indication of just how desperate he is now, how cornered he feels and how out of options he suddenly finds himself.
Isn't it wonderful?