International

Swiss courts reject FIFA officials appeal

2015-10-05 20:42
FIFA (logo)

Bellinzona - Venezuela's former football chief Rafael Esquivel poses a flight risk and must therefore remain in detention in Switzerland, the country's Federal Criminal Court said Monday, rejecting his request for release.

The former president of the Venezuelan Football Federation and executive committee member of South America's football body CONMEBOL was one of seven officials who were arrested in May on US warrants when they were in Zurich to attend the congress of the global football body FIFA.

The court argued that he would be capable of travelling abroad. Measures such as posting bail or electronic monitoring would not reduce the risk that he would abscond, it added.

"The arguments that were presented relating to his old age, state of health etc. do not indicate that there is no flight risk," the court said.

Swiss authorities agreed to his extradition last month, but his transfer is still pending appeal.

US prosecutors accuse Esquivel of having taken millions of dollars of bribes for awarding marketing rights in several Copa America tournaments.

One of the seven detainees, former FIFA vice-president Jeffrey Webb, has already been handed over to US authorities.

 

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