FIFA bribery case widens: ex-Guatemala chief arrested
Guatemalan prosecutors issued an arrest warrant for Brayan Jimenez, president of the country’s football federation, who is accused in a widening bribery investigation into FIFA.
Public Ministry official Francisco Rivas said Guatemala received a request Thursday from the United States for Jimenez’s apprehension and possible extradition. Rivas says, “It was also requested that articles or objects of value belonging to him be seized.”
Jimenez did not make any public comments on Friday, and his whereabouts were not clear. On Thursday he said he had not yet seen the accusations and intended to consult with his lawyers. The federation announced that Jimenez would be provisionally suspended as president.
Guatemalan judge Hector Trujillo, who is charged with racketeering in the case, was arrested Friday aboard a cruise ship at Port Canaveral, Florida. Fifteen other soccer officials are charged in the latest indictment.
Ex Peru chief held
The former longtime president of Peru’s soccer federation, Manuel Burga, has been arrested as part of an ongoing U.S.-led investigation into corruption at the sport’s world governing body, FIFA. Burga is among 16 people, including current and former Latin American soccer chiefs, who were charged on Thursday with multimillion-dollar bribery schemes for marketing and broadcast rights.
Burga, 58, who was head of the Peruvian Football Federation (FPF) for 12 years until 2014, denied wrongdoing as police arrested him late on Friday outside his home in the Peruvian capital, Lima. “I’m helping police with their enquiries, I’d been waiting for them… They’d already informed me that I would see an arrest warrant,” Burga told local television reporters who had gathered outside his house. “I reiterate that I’m innocent. I haven’t received any bungs or bribes,” he said, before being driven away in a police car.
Police chief Vicente Romero said officers were acting on an international warrant for Burga’s arrest. It was not immediately clear if Burga remained in police custody on Saturday and a U.S. Embassy spokesman declined to comment on whether he would be extradited to the United States.
Burga won reelection as FPF president twice but was barred last year by the organisation from running for a fourth term as criticism grew over his management of the federation.
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