- Title: SOCCER-FIFA/NICARAGUA Nicaragua charges ex-FIFA official Rocha, seeks extradition
- Date: 19th August 2015
- Summary: MANAGUA, NICARAGUA (FILE) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF SIGN GIVING DIRECTIONS TO NATIONAL SOCCER STADIUM VARIOUS OF STADIUM
- Embargoed: 3rd September 2015 13:00
- Location: Nicaragua
- Country: Nicaragua
- Topics: General
- Reuters ID: LVA1XBN4ZGQS3C8WY79V7U6PAO88
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS MATERIAL WHICH WAS ORIGINALLY 4:3
Nicaragua has charged former FIFA Development Officer Julio Rocha with money laundering and embezzlement, the country's attorney general, Ana Julia Guido, said on Monday (August 17), and is seeking his extradition.
Rocha was arrested in Zurich in May after being indicted by the United States along with 13 other soccer officials and sports marketing executives on graft charges, in a corruption scandal that has rocked world soccer's governing body.
Guido said that Rocha, who agreed to be extradited from Switzerland back to his native Nicaragua earlier this month, held a soccer broadcasting rights contract worth $150,000 with Traffic Sports USA, of which $100,000 was an "international bribe" that entered Nicaragua through a Spanish bank.
Rocha, a former president of his country's football association (Fenifut), was charged on August 4 with money laundering and embezzlement, with the state and financial system the claimants, Guido said. The charges came to light on Monday (August 17).
"In July we received a complaint from architect (Marlon) Torres, the director of the IND (Nicaraguan Sports Institute). And so from this we started an investigation and on the 4th of August we established accusations at the Sixth District Criminal Court Hearing and an order for capture was set and an international capture order and from there extradition was requested. (Reporter: What's the crime?) For money laundering and illicit enrichment," said Guido, addressing reporters on Tuesday (August 18).
But at a news conference in Managua, the current president of the Nicaraguan Soccer Federation, Jacinto Reyes, said the body has not brought forward any charges against the embattled former FIFA official.
"We haven't lodged a complaint as the Nicaraguan Soccer Federation. I haven't seen documents from colleague Ana Julia Guido. If there is a complaint from her for the president of the Nicaraguan Soccer Federation, which is the maximum authority of this sport, and therefore is the only body that can make accusations," said Reyes.
U.S. authorities must now decide whether they agree to Nicaragua being given priority in Rocha's extradition.
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