Extradition hearing for FIFA officials draws close

| 26/06/2015 | 14 Comments
Eugenio Figueredo, former Vice President of CONMEBOL

Eugenio Figueredo, former Vice President of CONMEBOL

(CNS): With just one week to go before the US must file papers against FIFA officials arrested in Switzerland for their extradition to America, one of the men arrested alongside Caymanian Jeffrey Webb has been refused bail. Without naming him, the Swiss authorities stated that the individual was a flight risk, but according to Swiss media, the man appealing for bail was Eugenio Figueredo (83) from Uruguay, who is said to be in poor health.

Webb (50) and all his fellow detainees are all fighting the extradition to the US and are expected to appear before a Swiss court soon after the US completes the paperwork next Friday. This is likely to be a closed-door hearing before a Swiss justice official and whatever the Swiss court decides can be appealed.

Switzerland has an extradition treaty with the United States covering offenses that are crimes in both countries, which means if the charges are not a crime in Switzerland then the men would not be extradited. But the authorities in Zürich have stated that the alleged bribery charges would distort competition and violate the Swiss unfair competition act.

Cayman News Service

Former CONCACAF President Jeff Webb

On 27 May, Webb, Figueredo, Rafael Esquivel, Jose Maria Marin, Julio Rocha, Costas Takkas and Eduardo Li were all detained on behalf of US authorities following a dawn raid at the luxury hotel Baur au Lac in Zürich, where they were staying ahead of the annual FIFA Congress.

In the wake of the arrest, US Attorney General Loretta Lynch gave a press conference detailing a $150 million bribery and corruption investigation covering more than two decades by the US department of justice and other agencies, including the FBI and IRS, into the world footballing body and its officials. US prosecutors claim the investigation exposes complex money laundering schemes, millions of dollars in untaxed incomes and tens of millions in offshore accounts held by FIFA officials.

Earlier this week the attorney for Webb’s CONCACAF colleague, Eduardo Li from Costa Rica, said his client was innocent and described the prosecution as a “legal absurdity”, according to media reports. The attorney said there was no evidence Li took bribes or participated in a criminal enterprise and the US authorities had incorrectly assumed soccer federation accounts were the same as Li’s personal ones and were attempting to put pressure on his client to lie and implicate others.

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Category: Crime, Europe, USA, World News

Comments (14)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    There is just too much “scandal” to adequately cover. They will need a sequel to do this film justice.

    Imagine this…

    http://www.ew.com/article/2015/06/26/ben-affleck-matt-damon-fifa-soccer-scandal-movie
    http://www.theguardian.com/film/2015/jun/26/ben-affleck-to-produce-film-on-fifa-corruption-scandal-say-reports

    Hollywood Bound.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I wonder how many appeals are legally permitted before they are all on their way to Uncle Sam? It’s likely better that he commit the “treasonous act” and plea his way as close to freedom as possible. Bryce didn’t do too bad…

  3. Samantha says:

    1.38, you forgot they would also make his title “The Honourable” for life!

  4. Anonymous says:

    If he gives the money back, they will let him off all charges, just like in Cayman. Nothing done wrong.

    It seems stealing in Cayman is the best way, if they do catch you, return the money, be let off, otherwise you have the cash . Its a no brainer, you get a reward with no risk, if you get caught you are no worse off than if you didn’t steal it.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone know why he is fighting extradition to the USA? Let us imagine for a minute that he is successful and Switzerland says that he is a free man. Where would he go to live when he leaves there? Libya? Syria? How would he earn a living? Whether he is guilty as charged or not is immaterial at this point, he has no life to speak of until he goes to the USA and answers the charges they have filed against him.

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