US Asks Swiss to Extradite 7 FIFA Honchos

The men have already objected
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 2, 2015 9:22 AM CDT
The United States has submitted a formal request for Switzerland to extradite seven FIFA officials arrested as part of a corruption probe in Zurich in May, Swiss officials said yesterday.   (AP Photo/Michael Probst, File0)

(Newser) – The US has submitted a formal request for Switzerland to extradite seven FIFA officials arrested in Zurich as part of a corruption probe that has rocked soccer's world governing body. Switzerland's Federal Office of Justice today said that the requests were received from the US embassy in Bern. The expected demands submitted late last night met a 40-day deadline since the seven were detained early May 27 in raids on a luxury hotel in FIFA's home city. All seven men detained in Zurich, including three current and former members of FIFA's executive committee, have already objected to extradition. They face around 20 years in prison.

The widening American investigation already alleges bribery and racketeering worth more than $150 million involving high-ranking FIFA officials over a 24-year span. "These crimes are thought to have been agreed and prepared in the USA, and payments were allegedly routed through US banks," the Swiss justice ministry said in a statement today. The seven will be heard by Zurich cantonal (state) police and granted a 14-day period to respond to federal officials about the extradition request. Swiss justice officials will then rule "within a few weeks" on whether to extradite them. That ruling can be appealed to Switzerland's top criminal court and Supreme Court. The seven men:

  • FIFA VP Jeffrey Webb of the Cayman Islands
  • Eugenio Figueredo of Uruguay, who was arrested two days before his FIFA vice-presidential term expired
  • Costa Rican soccer federation President Eduardo Li, who was arrested two days before he was due to join FIFA's executive committee
  • Former Brazilian federation chief Jose Maria Marin, who led the 2014 World Cup local organizing committee and is a member of the FIFA panel organizing the men's and women's tournaments at next year's Olympic Games
  • 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 CONCACAF President Webb.

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