A jury in New York has discovered two South American ex-FIFA chiefs responsible of corruption. They are Jose Maria Marin, former head of Brazil’s Football Confederation and Juan Angel Napout, former head of Paraguayan soccer.
And promptly, the once-powerful pair had been remanded into custody.
The panel will return after Christmas to deliberate on the destiny of a 3rd defendant, former Peru boss Manuel Burga.
The seven-week trial in a Brooklyn federal court docket uncovered endemic legal exercise on the coronary heart of the world’s hottest sport, two and a half years after the United States unveiled the biggest graft scandal within the historical past of world soccer.
On the sixth day of deliberations, Marin, 85, was convicted on six of seven counts, and Napout, 59, on three out of 5, in reference to bestowing tv and advertising and marketing rights to soccer matches.
They had been rapidly remanded into custody, as marshals in plain garments burst into the room to encompass the boys. Napout had simply sufficient time at hand a watch, neck chain and belt to his spouse, who sat within the gallery for the decision with their kids.
“The defendants are facing very significant potential sentences,” mentioned Judge Pamela Chen, dismissing pleas from protection legal professionals in opposition to instant incarceration. Marin takes treatment for melancholy and hypertension, his lawyer mentioned.
Under federal rules, Marin and Napout every face at the least 10 years in jail. Each conviction carries a most sentence of 20 years.
“I don’t think there are real reasons for appeal,” mentioned Chen.
But the jury mentioned they’d not but reached consensus on Burga, 60, who faces one depend of racketeering conspiracy. They will return to renew deliberations on Tuesday.
Government prosecutors indicted 42 officers and advertising and marketing executives, in addition to the sports activities firm Traffic, and detailed 92 alleged crimes to the tune of greater than $200 million, however to this point solely these three defendants have confronted trial.
Marin and Napout betrayed no emotion as they heard the verdicts.
Prosecutors mentioned they had been blinded by greed into accepting greater than $17 million in bribes — Napout $10.5 million, Marin $6.55 million.
“FIFA will now take all necessary steps to seek restitution and recover any losses caused by their misconduct,” mentioned a spokesperson, following the convictions.
But in New York, defence lawyer refused to surrender.
“We are disappointed of course and we are going to continue to fight for justice, appealing until we have a final decision,” mentioned Marin’s lawyer Julio Barbosa.
“We’re very disappointed and we are going to continue fighting to absolve Mr Napout,” added Silvia Pinera, defence lawyer for the Paraguayan.
Both had been convicted of racketeering conspiracy underneath US legislation penalising legal organisation — expenses which have jailed mafia bosses — for accepting bribes in change for bestowing tv and advertising and marketing rights.
In damning proof, Marin, was recorded speaking about taking bribes by affiliate turned US authorities cooperating witness, businessman Jose Hawilla, who wore a wire.
A jury will subsequent week resume deliberations the destiny of Manuel Burga, former president of the Peruvian Football Association, who faces one depend of racketeering conspiracy.
The Brazilian was acquitted on one depend of cash laundering conspiracy, in relation to the Brazil Cup. He was convicted on two others, in addition to of wire fraud conspiracy.
In addition to racketeering conspiracy, Napout was convicted on two counts of wire fraud conspiracy and acquitted on two counts of cash laundering conspiracy.