Soccer-Brazil's ex-football chief agrees to U.S. extradition -Swiss

by Reuters
Wednesday, 28 October 2015 17:03 GMT

(Adds details of case and background)

ZURICH/NEW YORK, Oct 28 (Reuters) - Jose Maria Marin, former president of the Brazilian Football Confederation, has agreed to be extradited to the United States to face corruption charges, the Swiss Federal Office of Justice said in a statement on Wednesday.

Marin was among seven officials from global soccer body FIFA who were arrested in May at their Zurich hotel after being indicted on the U.S. charges. Marin is accused of having taken bribes in connection with sports marketing rights and had until now fought his extradition.

Like Marin, former FIFA vice president Jeffrey Webb agreed to extradition to the United States, and Webb has since been released on bond subject to home detention and electronic monitoring as his case moves along. Five other former officials continue to oppose extradition to the United States, the justice office said.

It was not known whether Marin had agreed to cooperate with U.S. authorities or how soon he might appear in a U.S. court. Lawyers for Marin could not immediately be reached for comment. A spokeswoman for prosecutors in Brooklyn, New York, declined to comment.

Marin has maintained a house in New York, according to the U.S. indictment from May. It was unclear if he would be allowed to stay there while awaiting trial.

From 2012 to this year, Marin served as the head of Brazil's federation and also held positions in FIFA, including on the organizing committees for Olympic football tournaments and the World Cup, according to the indictment.

Marin was one a handful of high-ranking soccer officials whom the sports marketing firm Datisa agreed to pay $110 million in bribes in exchange for the media rights for regional soccer tournaments, U.S. authorities said. At least $40 million had been paid out by the time the charges were announced, they said.

The indictment also links Marin to a scheme to receive bribes for the commercial rights associated with the Copa do Brasil, a tournament for Brazil's top club teams.

During an April 2014 trip to Miami, according to the indictment, Marin was caught on tape discussing payments owed to him saying, " t's about time to - to have it coming our way. True or not?"

A co-conspirator who was not identified in court documents, agreed: "Of course, of course, of course. That money had to be given to you." Several cooperating witnesses in the case were recording their conversations over the course of the investigation. (Reporting by Silke Koltrowitz and John Miller in Zurich and Mica Rosenberg and David Ingram in New York; editing by Grant McCool)

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