NEW YORK: Rafael Callejas, a 72-year-old former President of Honduras, has changed his plea and admitted to corruption charges in the FIFAGate imvestigation being run by the United States Department of Justice writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Callejas, a member of the world football federation’s television and marketing committee, had been detained without bail at a hearing in federal court in Brooklyn last week.
He is among 42 people and corporations charged in the investigation estimated to focus on fraud concerning more than $200m in bribes and kickbacks.
Callejas had been charged with eight offences including taking bribes from Media World, an affiliate of Spain’s Imagina Group, so that the company could obtain media and marketing rights for qualifier matches ahead of the 2014, 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments.
He had served as president of Honduras from 1990 to 1994 and was head of the country’s football federation until last August. He has agreed to forfeit $650,000. Some $180,000 should be paid within one week and the balance within 12 months.
Imagina has said it would cooperate fully with US authorities. It has suspended the chief executive of Media World and another employee.