Tainted Fifa vice-president Hawit to be extradited to US
Former FIFA vice president Alfredo Hawit has agreed to be extradited to the United States to face bribery charges, Switzerland’s justice ministry said on Wednesday.Updated: Jan 07, 2016 15:51 IST
Former Fifa vice president Alfredo Hawit has agreed to be extradited to the United States to face bribery charges, Switzerland’s justice ministry said on Wednesday.
The Swiss ministry said Hawit ended his opposition to an American extradition request and must be collected by a police escort within 10 days.
Hawit, from Honduras, was interim president of the CONCACAF regional governing body when he was arrested at the Baur au Lac hotel in Zurich on December 3.
U.S. prosecutors accused him of “accepting bribes totaling millions of dollars in connection with the sale to various sports marketing firms of marketing rights to football tournaments in Latin America,” the Swiss justice statement said.
The FIFA ethics committee decided to suspend Hawit for 90 days after his arrest in Zurich.
Hawit followed Jack Warner and Jeffrey Webb as CONCACAF presidents indicted in the sprawling U.S. Department of Justice investigation of bribery and corruption in international soccer.
More than 40 soccer and marketing officials, plus corporate entities, have been charged or pleaded guilty in connection with an alleged bribery conspiracy valued at about $200 million over three decades.
Hawit was named in a new indictment unsealed last month for taking a $250,000 bribe to exploit his position of influence when made acting CONCACAF president in 2011 after FIFA suspended Warner.
Hawit agreed to try to steer CONCACAF commercial rights toward Hugo and Mariano Jinkis, a father and son from Argentina who ran the Full Play agency and were indicted in May.
He also was implicated in a separate bribery conspiracy with Miami-based agency Media World over broadcast rights for World Cup qualifying matches of the Honduras national team.
Hawit’s pending departure leaves three men detained in Zurich-area jails of the nine arrested in the city since May. The three are: former FIFA staffer Julio Rocha of Nicaragua; Costas Takkas, a British citizen and former aide to Webb; and Rafael Esquivel, former president of the Venezuelan soccer federation.