السبت , مايو 22 2021

Webb pleads not guilty in Fifa case

Jeffrey Web. Photo: March 2015

Jeffrey Webb was extradited from Switzerland to the US this week

Former Fifa Vice-President Jeffrey Webb has pleaded not guilty in connection with a massive corruption scandal in the world’s football governing body.

He was placed under house arrest on $10m (£6.4m) bail by a New York judge.

Mr Webb, from the Cayman Islands, is accused of accepting bribes worth millions of dollars in connection with the sale of marketing rights.

He was detained in Switzerland in May, along with six football officials, and was this week extradited to the US.

He was the only one not to contest his extradition from Switzerland and the first to appear in an American court.

He must remain at home within a 20-mile (32km) radius of the court, his movements will be monitored via an electronic tag and he has relinquished his passports.

His lawyer has declined to comment.

The arrest of the Cayman Islands’ favourite son

The key allegations

  • Wire fraud conspiracy and wire fraud
  • Money-laundering conspiracy and money-laundering
  • Obstruction of justice
  • If convicted, the defendants could face 20 years in prison

What are the main charges?

Mr Webb smiled at his wife and appeared confident in a crisp white shirt when he made his hour-long appearance, reports the BBC’s Nick Bryant from the court.

Ironically, as he was listening to the charges he faces, there was a football match being played on the grass outside the courthouse, our correspondent says.

Mr Webb, 50, has been provisionally banned as Fifa vice-president. He is also the former president of the Central and North American football federation (Concacaf).

The other six people arrested are fighting their extradition to the US, where the charges were laid.

The men were held at the request of the US Department of Justice, which has indicted a total of 14 current and former Fifa officials and associates on charges of “rampant, systemic, and deep-rooted” corruption following a major inquiry by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

The investigation was initially sparked by the bidding process for the Russia 2018 and Qatar 2022 World Cups, but was widened to look back at the dealings of world football’s governing body over the past 20 years.

The Department of Justice’s indictment says that the corruption was planned in the US, and that American banks were used to transfer money.

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