NEW YORK: At least eight defendants are holding out on not guilty pleas ahead of the FIFAGate trial in New York on November of next year.
However it is still not known how many defendants will appear and how many will eventually contest $200m corruption arising out of money-laundeering and bribes concerning commercial contracts in Latin American football.
Assistant US Attorney Evan Norris, in a preliminary hearing before District Judge Pamela Chen, indicated that several defendants were now considering admitting guilt in what are assumed to be plea-bargain negiotiations.
More than 40 people have been charged with 15 people, plus two companies, already having indicated guilty pleas.
Chen has scheduled a trial for the eight remaining defendants in the US to start on November 6, 2017.
Norris told the court that investigators were still reviewing hundreds of thousands of documents handed over after US officials asked their Paraguay counterparts to search the headquarters of CONMEBOL, the South American confederation based in Asuncion.
Chen, who took over the case in August, said Monday that lawyers may need extra time to review the ten million pages of evidence produced by the investigation so far.
The case is listed as U.S. V. Webb, 15-cr-00252, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York (Manhattan). Jeffrey Webb, from the Cayman Islands, was president of the central and north American confederation CONCACAF and a vice-president of world governing body FIFA when he was detained in Zurich in May 2015.
He has indicated guilty pleas and is currently under house arrest at a property he owns in Georgia.
Jack Warner, his predecessor as CONCACAF president, and Nicolas Leoz, a former president of CONMEBOL, are contested extradition applications in Trinidad & Tobago and Paraguay respectively.
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