FIFA Update: Brazil’s José Maria Marin Extradited to United States after Agreeing to Extradition

Maracanã_stadiumOn 3 November 2015, José Maria Marin, former President of the Brazilian Football Confederation, was extradited to the United States, from Switzerland.

This followed reports on 28 October 2015 that Mr Marin had agreed to be extradited back to the United States from Switzerland, enabling the Swiss Federal Office of Justice (FOJ) to immediately approve Mr Marin’s extradition in simplified proceedings.

The FOJ press report is here. A report on Mr Marin’s extradition is here.

Allegations

Mr Marin is accused of having taken bribes worth millions of dollars from sports marketing companies in connection with the sale of marketing rights for the Copa America tournaments for 2015, 2016, 2019 and 2023, and the Copa do Brasil for the period from 2013 to 2022.

Mr Marin is alleged to have shared these bribes with other soccer officials, as a consequence of which funds were diverted from two of FIFA’s continental confederations, as well as from the national football association of Brazil. Mr Marin denies the allegations.

Arrest

Mr Marin was arrested in Zurich, Switzerland, along with six other officials on 27 May 2015, on the basis of an arrest request from the US. He was then held in custody pending extradition.

The formal US extradition request, which was submitted to the FOJ on 1 July 2015, is based on an arrest warrant issued on 20 May 2015 by the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.

Simplified Extradition Proceedings

 Mr Marin had previously opposed extradition to the US. However, at a hearing on 27 October 2015, Mr Marin agreed to his extradition, enabling the FOJ to immediately approve his extradition in simplified proceedings.

Under the Swiss Federal Act on International Mutual Assistances in Criminal Matters, Mr Marin was required to be placed in the custody of a US police escort and transferred to the US within ten days.

An instructive flowchart, setting out the difference between simplified and ordinary extradition proceedings in Switzerland, can be found at page 7 of the following Swiss FOJ document, here.

Extradition, 3 November 2015

On 3 November 2015, Mr Marin was extradited to the US. After his extradition, he appeared in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, where he pleaded not guilty to US bribery charges.

Mr Marin was released on a $15m bond, signed by his wife, on the condition that he lives under tight restrictions in a New York apartment until his case is resolved. His lawyer said that his client was “preparing to deal with the charges”.

Mr Marin is the second individual embroiled in the scandal to agree to be extradited to the US, after former FIFA Vice President, Jeffrey Webb, who was handed over to authorities on 15 July 2015. Five other FIFA officials arrested in Zurich in May 2015 continue to oppose their extradition. Previous FIFA blogs are here.

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