New York, 30 January 2021 (AFP) – Reynaldo Vasquez, former president of the Salvadoran Football Federation, was extradited to the United States on Friday for a trial in the context of the FIFA corruption scandal and pleaded not guilty to judge. York.
In December 2015, Vasquez was charged by United States Justice for violating the law of organizations created to deal with organized crime, as well as numerous crimes of bank fraud and money laundering.
However, he was convicted of only the first organized crime in the United States, prosecutor Kristin Maes said at the first hearing of Vasquez before Brooklyn Judge Pamela Chen in charge of the FIFA mega corruption scandal.
At the virtual hearing, Chen asked Vasquez whether he was guilty or not. “The defense is not guilty,” Gary Cutler responded, Wesquez’s lawyer said.
Cutler said he would soon propose bail terms so that his client could wait for a free trial.
But prosecutor Mess told the judge to arrest the defendant at least as long as he faces a “very serious” charge that “carries a sentence of up to 20 years” and because he has ties to a foreign country.
Judge Chen accepted the request, considering the defendant to be “at risk of escape” and set the next hearing for April 7.
The US court guaranteed that Visquez received bribes from television rights and the Salvadoran national team for commercialization of the game, and for facilitating the team’s participation in friendly matches.
Exactly a year ago, in October 2019, FIFA suspended Vasque forever from all football-related activities.
In March 2017, the leader was sentenced to eight years in prison in El Salvador for another crime: misuse of social contributions from more than 200 employees, about $ 400,000.
The scandal, known as a “fifegate” discovered by the United States in May 2015, exposed a conspiracy to bribe millionaires in exchange for rights in football broadcasts to football officials in the US and tournaments including the Copa America and the Copa Libertadores paid by sports officials for the promotion of.
In the case, which led to the unit’s president, Joseph Blatter, the United States government accusing many of the 45 people and more than 90 of the crimes of paying or accepting more than $ 200 million in bribes from several sports companies and bribes.
Five out of about 45 defendants died. In total, 26 pleaded guilty and at least six of them were convicted.
The trio pleaded not guilty and went to a historic trial in New York in late 2017: former CBF president Jose Marin and former Paraguayan and Conambol president Juan Ongel Knapout were convicted and arrested, while former Peruvian Football chief Manuel Durga was acquitted.
Ten are still in their countries, where they have been prosecuted by local justice or have freedom while fighting extradition.
lbc / gfe / aam