ZURICH: A lawyer representing former FIFA vice-president Eugenio Figueredo have said he has offered to tell all he knows to escape extradition to the United States in the FIFAGate investigation writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Figueredo, a former head of the Uruguayan football federation, was among seven senior officials arrested in Zurich on May 27, two days before FIFA Congress, on a US Department of Justice corruption indictment alleging bribery and money-laundering over commercial contracts connected to international tournaments in the Americas.
Lawyer Juan Gomez said: “The prosecutors have been offered a plea-bargain proposal which involves revealing the identity of other participants or accomplices in the events under investigation as well as providing information to allow the recovery of monies.”
The Swiss federal department of justice has already cleared Figueredo for extradition to the US but he has lodged an appeal and is hoping, instead, to be granted extradition to Uruguay where he also faces charges.
Gomez said that it was hoped an agreement could be reached, particularly bearing in mind the fact that Figueredo is 83. During his detention in Switzerland he failed an appeal for a release to house arrest on the grounds of ill health.
The Uruguayan case concerns a complaint filed in late 2013 by seven clubs and the local players’ union alleged that CONMEBOL, the South American confederation, was a “criminal organization” which misused TV money that should have gone to clubs, players and the organisation itself.
Gomez said: “We are confident in so far as the Uruguayan our investigation was initiated officially before December 24, 2013, and it seems an appropriate way to separate information that can serve both processes.”
Figueredo was a FIFA vice-president and CONMEBOL president from 2014-15 and a vice-president of CONMEBOL from 1993 to 2013.
Another 83-year-old, former Brazilian federation president Jose Maria Marin, was extradited to the US at the start of the week.