BUENOS AIRES: Jorge Alejandro Delhon, a lawyer accused in the FIFAGate case on Tuesday of taking bribes, has committed suicide by throwing himelf under a train in Lanus, Buenos Aires, writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Delhon, 52 and with four children, has been named with a fellow political aide by media supremo Alejandro Burzaco of having accepted $4m between 2011 and 2014.
Burzaco, former ceo of Argentinian media giant TyC, is a prosecution witness in New York in the trial of former football bosses Jose Marin (Brazil), Manuel Burga (Peru) and Juan Angel Napout (Paraguay) who all deny corruption charges.
Delhon, a lawyer, worked in the cabinet office of then President Cristina Kirchner between 2012 and 2015 and on the Fútbol para Todos programme which was devised to provide free broadcasting of domestic league matches.
An architect of the concept was long-term Argentinian, South American and FIFA powerbroker Julio Grondona in collaboration with the vote-seeking Kirchner.
Delhon had been brought on board by another senior Kirchner official, Pablo Paladino. He was also an associate of Carlos Rivera, the owner of the Alhec Group through which many of the illicit payments to Grondona and his aides were laundered, according to Burzaco.
Burzaco had told the New York court that $4m from the Futbol Para Todos accounts had been siphoned off to both Delhon and Paladino, a close associate of Kirchner. Before court resumed Burzaco broke down in tears and the resumption of the case had to be delayed.
Delhon’s apparent suicide was confirmed in Buenos Aires by police who said witnesses had seen him run into the path of a train.
Hours later Paladino defended Delhon to local media and attacking Burzaco.
Paladino said: “I spoke to Jorge on the phone yesterday and said we should fight this [accusation]. He told me he was coming home and I was waiting for him and that I would go out and talk to the media.
“Jorge Delhon was an honest man who went to work on the subway or the ordinary train and now he is lost to us because of a scoundrel like Burzaco.
“Perhaps he was distressed when he felt he was not protected by the rule of law. He was a family man who always worked hard and could not stand to see himself branded as a criminal.”