Monday 22 January 2018

US requests Fifa seven extradition

Fifa headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland. (AP)
Fifa headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland. (AP)

Swiss justice officials say they have received a formal request from the United States to extradite seven Fifa officials arrested in Zurich last month.

The Federal Office of Justice said the requests were received yesterday, within a deadline required by a bilateral treaty.

They are based on a US probe into alleged bribery worth more than 100 million dollars (£64 million) involving high-ranking officials at football's world governing body.

All seven men, who face around 20 years in prison, have already objected to extradition.

They will be heard by Zurich police and granted a 14-day period to respond to federal officials about the extradition request, after which the Federal Office of Justice will rule on whether to extradite them. That ruling can be appealed against to Switzerland's top criminal court and supreme court.

The seven men, arrested on May 27 in early-morning raids at a luxury Zurich hotel, include Fifa vice president Jeffrey Webb of the Cayman Islands and former Fifa vice president Eugenio Figueredo of Uruguay.

Costa Rican soccer federation president Eduardo Li was arrested two days before he was due to formally join Fifa's executive committee.

Former Brazilian federation chief Jose Maria Marin led the 2014 World Cup local organising committee and is a member of the Fifa panel organising the Rio de Janeiro Olympics tournaments.

The others are Venezuela FA chief Rafael Esquivel; Fifa staffer Julio Rocha, a development officer from Nicaragua; and Costas Takkas, a Briton who works for Webb.

The seven are among 14 indicted by the US Justice Department. Four more men have entered guilty pleas in the wide-ranging corruption case.

Press Association

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