News 15th January 2016

Hawit pleads not guilty as FIFAGate corruption inquiry races on

NEW YORK: Alfredo Hawit, the latest FIFA Vice President to wind up in court in the United States, has denied corruption charges in the FIFAGate investigationHawit, 64, had been interim leader of the central and north American confederation CONCACAF until his suspension by FIFA after being detained last month in Zurich ahead of an executive committee meeting.

CONCACAf predecessors Jeffrey Webb and Jack Warner had both already been targeted by the US Department of Justice (DoJ). Webb has admitted offences and is currently under house arrest in the US on bail, while Warner is contesting extradition from Trinidad and Tobago.

The FIFAGate investigation concerns corruption throughout the Americas and remains ongoing. Only last week the Paraguayan authorities sent the DoJ around 10,000 documents seized in a raid on the offices of the South American confederation CONMEBOL.

Hawit is accused of fraud over marketing rights to tournaments in Latin America while general secretary of the Honduran federation between 2008 and 2014. He faces 12 counts of racketeering conspiracy, wire fraud, money laundering and conspiracy to obstruct justice and tamper with witnesses.

A court on Brooklyn was told that Hawit is suffering from serious health problems including pancreatitis which he had difficulty managing when detained in Switzerland. He has applied for bail terms including house arrest with electronic monitoring at his daughter’s home in Miami without financial guarantee. Prosecutors have countered that Hawit would pose a significant flight risk and demanded a US$4 billion surety in cash and/or US property. Some 41 individuals and corporations have been indicted over the $200 million FIFAGate scandal, with 13 still contesting extradition.

• This article was originally published on Keir Radnedge’s internet site on 14 January 2016. To access the original, please click here.

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