FIFA Corruption Investigation Update: US Ask That Extradition Request Takes Priority Over Nicaragua

Flag_of_FIFA.svgOn 27 August 2015, it was reported that the US Department of Justice has requested that Switzerland give priority to a request by the United States to extradite the former head of the Nicaraguan Football Federation, and ‘provisionally banned’ FIFA development officer, Julio Rocha, ahead of an extradition request made by his native Nicaragua. A report is here.

Mr Rocha is charged in Nicaragua with money laundering and embezzlement. In the US, Mr Rocha is one of 14 individuals named on charges which include racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracy. Mr Rocha consented to the extradition request sent by Nicaragua on 14 August 2015.

“This week U.S. authorities have asked that the FOJ (Federal Office of Justice) gives priority to their request for Rocha’s extradition,” Swiss Justice Ministry spokesman Folco Galli said.

“There won’t be a separate decision. We will decide on the U.S. request concerning Rocha and also decide the question of which state has priority,” Galli added.

There is an extradition treaty in place between the Switzerland and the US but not between Switzerland and Nicaragua.

For extradition to either country, under Swiss law, the alleged offence must constitute an offence (punishable by at least one years’ imprisonment), under the law of the requesting country in question, and in Switzerland.

Previous blogs on the FIFA investigation are available here.

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