FIFA official charged in Nicaragua

By AFP   |   18 August 2015   |   9:04 am  

FIFAOne of the seven FIFA officials arrested in Switzerland has been charged with money laundering and corruption charges in Nicaragua, a prosecutor said, expecting an extradition to be completed soon.

Nicaraguan Julio Rocha, the former head of the Nicaraguan Football Federation, has been detained in Switzerland since a raid on a Zurich hotel in May.

He agreed last week to be extradited to his home country, according to Swiss officials.

The charges against Rocha were filed August 4, prosecutor Julia Guido said.

Guido said investigations determined Rocha signed a broadcast rights agreement with a company from which he allegedly received a $100,000 (900,000 euro) bribe, adding that she expected the extradition to be completed soon.

The United States has also demanded Rocha’s extradition as part of its probe into massive corruption at football’s governing body.

A Swiss justice ministry spokesman said last week they would not carry out the extradition until US officials agree to put aside their request.

Rocha was part of Nicaragua’s Olympic committee from 1997 to 2009 and from 2012 was a development officer at FIFA.

One of the other arrested officials, Jeffrey Webb, a native of the Cayman Islands and an ex-FIFA vice president, was extradited to the US last month.

The five remaining FIFA officials wanted by US authorities — all from South America or the CONCACAF zone of North and Central America and the Caribbean — have not yet agreed to be extradited.

They include Eugenio Figueredo from Uruguay — also an ex-FIFA vice president and Costa Rican Eduardo Li, who was supposed to join the FIFA Executive Committee in May.

There was also Brazilian football federation chief Jose Maria Marin and Costas Takkas, a Briton who worked for the Cayman Islands federation and Rafael Esquivel, president of the Venezuelan Football Federation.

The seven were arrested during a dawn raid in Zurich on May 27 ahead of a FIFA congress.

The FIFA corruption case, that also targeted seven sports marketing executives, has shaken the football world and sparked worldwide calls for massive reform.



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