Fifa’s ethics committee has ruled that there is “comprehensive, convincing and overwhelming evidence” that Mohamed Bin Hammam and Jack Warner colluded in the payment of bribes to Caribbean football officials, according to a secret report seen by Telegraph Sport.
The ethics committee’s report, which prompted a full investigation into the allegations, found there was a “compelling” prima facie case that Bin Hammam was engaged in an act of bribery, and that Warner was “an accessory to corruption”.
The revelation of the ethics committee’s findings comes two days after Warner resigned as a Fifa vice president, which prompted the governing body to drop its investigation into him and declare that "the presumption of innocence is maintained".
In fact the findings against Warner states that there is “prima facie” evidence that bribes were paid, and concludes that it is likely that Warner and Bin Hammam were involved in an attempt to buy influence ahead of the Fifa presidential election, in which the Qatari was a candidate.
It is understood that the ethics committee’s findings were sent to Mr Warner last week, three days before he resigned from all football posts.
The ethics committee findings were compiled by Namibian judge Petrus Damuseb, who based his report on a evidence prepared by US attorneys on behalf of Fifa executive committee member Chuck Blazer, and following evidence given by Warner and Bin Hammam in personal hearings at the end of May.
Jack Warner still faces questions after resigning from all Fifa posts
Jack Warner’s retreat from the Fifa henhouse comes with investigators, led by former FBI director Louis Freeh, close to finalising their examination of bribery allegations against him and former presidential candidate Mohamed Bin Hammam.
The Freeh investigation is expected to be completed by the end of this month, and while Warner cannot face sanctions following his resignation from Fifa his role will be considered in the final report.
Warner and Bin Hammam are both still scheduled to be interviewed in Zurich in the next 10 days, along with Fifa executive committee members Worawi Makudi of Thailand and new boy V Manilal Fernando of Sri Lanka.
As disclosed by Telegraph Sport, Makudi and Fernando were at the Trinidad meeting in May at which $1 million in bribes is alleged to have been offered to Caribbean football officials.
One man who appears to have escaped the Fifa corruption bloodbath is general secretary Jerome Valcke, who has been cleared to remain in post despite saying in an email that Qatar “bought” the 2022 World Cup.
In a statement issued on Monday, three weeks after the allegation first surfaced, Fifa said there were “no pending issues” relating to Valcke and that he and president Sepp Blatter “look forward to working together in full confidence and trust in the next four-year cycle, as they have done for the past four years”.
Jack Warner was 'accessory to corruption', says leaked Fifa report.
Press Association - guardian.co.uk.
There is "comprehensive, convincing and overwhelming" evidence that Fifa's Mohamed bin Hammam tried to bribe officials during his presidential campaign and that Jack Warner was "an accessory to corruption", according to a secret report produced by Fifa's ethics committee.Fifa announced on Monday that Warner had resigned as a vice-president and retired from all football activities, resulting in the world governing body dropping their investigations into him, with "the presumption of innocence maintained".
However, the full report of the ethics committee, which provisionally suspended Warner and Bin Hammam on 29 May, says there was "prima facie" evidence that bribes had been paid to officials to support Bin Hammam's campaign for the Fifa presidency, and that Warner had facilitated this.
Bin Hammam withdrew as a candidate against Sepp Blatter on the morning of his ethics committee hearing, but both he and Warner have consistently denied any wrongdoing.
The 17-page ethics committee document setting out their decision was faxed to Warner on 14 June, and three days later he informed Fifa he was resigning.
The report concludes that there was "compelling" evidence that Bin Hammam and Warner arranged a special meeting of the 25 members of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) on 10-11 May in Trinidad and that, with their knowledge, cash gifts were handed over.
Statements from witnesses, described as "credible and correspondent" in the report, said they were handed brown envelopes each containing $40,000 (£24,800). One of the witnesses, Fred Lunn from the Bahamas, photographed the cash before returning it.
Four witnesses stated that Warner told the CFU delegates on 11 May that the "money for the 'gifts' allegedly distributed the day before had been apparently provided by Mr Bin Hammam", the document states.
Warner's evidence to the 29 May hearing is described as "mere self-serving declarations" and that he "failed to provide the Fifa ethics committee with a plausible explanation".
The report states: "The comprehensive, convincing and overwhelming evidence permits to conclude prima facie that the accused [Warner] has initiated and arranged a special meeting of the CFU member associations for Mr Bin Hammam.
"Furthermore on the occasion of this meeting it seems Mr Bin Hammam offered, at least indirectly and under the pledge of secrecy, to each of the member associations an envelope containing $40,000.
"The Fifa ethics committee is of the primary opinion that the accused [Warner] had knowledge of the respective payments and condoned them.
"It seems quite likely that the accused [Warner] contributed himself to the relevant actions, thereby acting as an accessory to corruption."
The report adds: "The committee is also of the opinion that the respective money gifts can probably only be explained if they are associated with the Fifa presidential elections of 1 June 2011.
"Therefore it appears rather compelling to consider the actions of Mr Bin Hammam constitute prima facie an act of bribery, or at least an attempt to commit bribery.
"It appears prima facie impossible, in the opinion of the Fifa ethics committee, that the accused [Warner] could have considered the money distributed... as legally or ethically proper and without any connection to the upcoming Fifa presidential election. Consequently, the accused would at least be considered as an accessory to the aforementioned violations."
The ethics committee report goes on to say that the facts "eventually lead to the primary conclusion that Mr Bin Hammam appears to have intended to influence the voting behaviour of the CFU member associations on the occasion of the Fifa presidential elections in his favour".
The revelations contained in the secret report have provoked a call for Fifa to re-open the case against Warner.
Damian Collins, the Tory MP who is campaigning for a reform of Fifa, said: "This makes Fifa's claim that Jack Warner can be presumed innocent absolutely incredible. I believe Jack Warner should be made to answer these charges – it's not enough just for him to resign.
"This shows it was a big error of judgment by Sepp Blatter to call off the inquiry and cover this up. Fifa should also confirm that Mohamed bin Hammam should not similarly be allowed to resign in return for having the investigation dropped."
Responding to news that Warner is set to receive a generous pension from Fifa, Collins also called for the organisation to state that he is not eligible for such payments.
Bin Hammam said in a statement: "There is nothing I can say more than I deny the allegations and insist that I have not done anything wrong during the Special Congress at Trinidad."
Warner is yet to respond to the report being made public, but earlier this week maintained he would be cleared of wrongdoing.
Warner said: "I am convinced, and I am advised by counsel, that since my actions did not extend beyond facilitating the meeting that gave Mr Bin Hammam an opportunity to pursue his aborted bid for the Fifa presidency, I would be fully exonerated by any objective arbiter."