BERN: Jose Maria Marin has become the last of the ‘Zurich Seven’ cleared for extradition from Switzerland to the United States over the FIFAGate corruption investigation writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Marin’s lawyers had been negotiating for several weeks with the US Department of Justice over likely bail terms to be put before a court on Brooklyn, New York. He hopes to be released to house arrest in an apartment he owns there.
His readiness to negotiate with the US authorities may further alarm his CBF successor, Marco Polo Del Nero, who has not dared the leave safety of Brazil for fear of being arrested himself on football fraud allegations.
Marin, former president of the Brazilian football confederation, was arrested in Zurich along with six other football executives on May 27, two days before FIFA Congress. He has since been held in detention.
According to a statement from the Swiss Federal Office of Justice he is accused of having taken and shared bribes worth millions of dollars from sports marketing companies in connection with the sale of rights for the Copa America for 2015, 2016, 2019 and 2023, and for the Copa do Brasil from 2013 to 2022.
The statement said: “His actions are said to have resulted in funds being diverted from two of FIFA’s continental confederations, as well as from the national football association of Brazil.”
Like Marin, former FIFA vice-president Jeffrey Webb had earlier agreed to his own extradition to the US. He was handed over on July 15 and is on bail.
Five other former senior football officials continue to oppose their extradition to the US and have all submitted notice of appeal. They include Eugenio Figueredom, the Uruguayan former president of the South American confederation CONMEBOL.