MONTEVIDEO: Eugenio Figueredo, the former South American football boss mired in two corruption scandals, has undergone emergency prostate surgery in Montevideo writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
The former vice-president of world federation FIFA and ex-head of the Uruguayan football association, was taken from jail to a private hospital yesterday evening after being taken ill.
Three doctors – one from Uruguay’s central prison, one from the national forensic technical enstitute and a specialist – all advised immediate treatment.
Crime prosecution representative María Camiño then sought consent from the courts which was granted by Judge Adriana Santos who is overseeing Figueredo’s trial.
Figueredo, 84, was one of the ‘Zurich Seven’ detained by Swiss police in the dramatic raid on the Baur au Lac hotel in Zurich on the eve of FIFA Congress in May last year.
Figueredo contested a subsequent extradition application by the United States Department of Justice over fraud, bribery and money-laundering charges in the $200m FIFAGate corruption investigation.
However the Uruguayan judicial authorities then submitted an extradition claim of their own concerning charges of extortion against top Uruguayan clubs as well as bribery and conspiracy.
Ill health was one of the grounds on which Figueredo contested, in vain, his detention and the extradition proceedings.
The Swiss authorities extradited Figueredo to Uruguay on the basis that legal proceedings in Montevideo had been launched first. Figueredo denied guilt initially before changing his plea and admitting bribery charges. He has already forfeited property in an extending plea bargain process.
This week his name surfaced again in the massive ‘Panama Papers’ leak concerning offshore accounts of the rich and famous in politics, entertainment and sport.
Figueredo, it was reported, had commissioned the creation of offshire accounts from the law firm of Juan Pedro Damiani, another senior national and international football director.
Damiani, president of former world and South American champions Penarol, had also been a member of the FIFA ethics committee since 2006.
The leaks promopted investigatory chairman Cornel Borbely to open an investigation into Damiani’s conduct. Damiani, who has denied wrongdoing and any business links with Figueredo, resigned his ethics committee role on Wednesday.
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