Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Home News World

Fifa bribery case suspect Juan Angel Napout agrees to extradition to US

Published 08/12/2015

Juan Angel Napout is said to have received bribes worth millions of dollars from Copa America broadcasting rights (AP)
Juan Angel Napout is said to have received bribes worth millions of dollars from Copa America broadcasting rights (AP)

Fifa vice president Juan Angel Napout has agreed to be extradited to the US to face charges in the football bribery investigation.

The Swiss justice ministry said Napout, from Paraguay, consented to his extradition at a police hearing on Tuesday.

He had contested extradition at a first hearing on Thursday, hours after he was arrested in a pre-dawn police raid at the luxury Baur au Lac hotel in Zurich.

The president of South American football confederation Conmebol is said to have received bribes worth millions of dollars from Copa America broadcasting rights.

Napout must be collected by US authorities within 10 days.

The Swiss ministry said: "No details concerning when he will be handed over are to be disclosed for reasons of security and privacy."

Of the nine football officials arrested by Swiss authorities since May at the US Department of Justice's request, Napout is the quickest to accept extradition.

He was suspended from all football duty for 90 days by the Fifa ethics committee on Friday pending a full investigation.

Napout, who was elected in March, became the third straight head of the South American confederation - following Nicolas Leoz of Paraguay and Eugenio Figueredo of Uruguay - to be indicted.

Leoz is fighting extradition from his native country and Figueredo has been detained in a Zurich area jail since May.

Napout was arrested on Thursday ahead of a Fifa executive committee session which was to agree on anti-corruption reforms at the scandal-hit governing body. He faces a range of charges relating to racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering, and faces a 20-year sentence if convicted.

The multilingual Napout had seemed a part of Fifa's future as it seeks to emerge from a corruption crisis.

"(Napout) sought to portray himself as an agent of reform, notwithstanding his own long-standing involvement in the solicitation and receipt of bribe and kickback payments in exchange for his influence as a Conmebol and Fifa official," the US indictment said.

Since May, Napout had become a key Fifa powerbroker and strong supporter of Michel Platini's presidential bid before and immediately after his legal problems.

Napout then urged South America to switch support to another European candidate, Platini's right-hand man at Uefa, general secretary Gianni Infantino.

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting?

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph