Federation Internationale de Football Association corruption trial hears allegations officials took millions in bribes

Postado Novembro 14, 2017

United States prosecutors first announced the indictments on May 27, 2015, lifting the lid on a quarter of a century of endemic corruption in the heart of Federation Internationale de Football Association, soccer's governing body.

Napout's lawyers argue that the government was able to find no irregularities in his bank records, but prosecutors maintain he demanded to be paid in cash.

US Assistant Attorney Keith Edelman told jurors the evidence will show abuse over 20 years, as the men took money meant to promote the sport.

Prosecutors haven't disclosed the names of their cooperators because of attempts, they say, to intimidate witnesses.

The former officials have been accused of taking millions of dollars in bribes in exchange for granting contracts for top South American tournaments. "There are drinks, press conferences but underneath the surface are lies, greed, corruption".

They have pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors say the defendants used shell companies, offshore accounts and bagmen to keep their dealings secret.

At another 2014 meeting involving Burzaco, the cooperating marketing executive, and other people where the bribery scheme was discussed, Burzaco made it clear he knew they were breaking the law and expressed his misgivings, the papers say of yet another recording.

The case has evoked comparisons to some of the celebrated organized crime trials that are lore in the federal courthouse in Brooklyn, New York. Recordings appear to corroborate prosecutors' case against him.

On its first morning the public gallery was overflowing with journalists and other lawyers keen to hear more revelations from the mammoth investigation as well as relatives of the defendants. Even more unusual was a November 6 discussion Chen had with lawyers on how to handle "four sensitive names" that may emerge at the trial. Since then, the sport has had to confront allegations of widespread corruption and Sepp Blatter, Fifa president for 17 years, was ousted along with dozens of other officials. "People can get pretty darn creative under those circumstances".

Marin, 85, is the most high-profile of the defendants.

USA prosecutors say Brazilian businessman Jose Maria Marin was a soccer official on the take - and wasn't always discreet about it.

"Rather than fix the harm done to the sport and its institutions, however, these conspirators engaged in the same unlawful practices that had enriched their predecessors", it says.

Prosecutors say they caught him negotiating a bribe during hours of recorded conversation.

"It's about time to- to have it coming our way", he said.

Charles Tillman, defence counsel for Marin, said his client was only ever an interim president of the Brazilian national federation, selected because he was the oldest vice president when the incumbent stepped aside.

'Marin was often aside, not participating in what was occurring, ' he said.

"[Marin] was on the field but not playing the game", Stillman said.

Burga, 60, is the former president of Peru's soccer federation; and Napout, 59, is the ex-president of the South American soccer governing body CONMEBOL and of Paraguay's soccer federation.

In their openings, defense attorneys told jurors that the case against their clients was built on the testimony of shady soccer officials who are seeking leniency in their own criminal cases stemming from the probe.