FIFA Corruption Investigation Update: Swiss Federal Office of Justice Approves Extradition of Eugenio Figueredo from Switzerland to the US

21st Sep 2015

Flag_of_FIFA.svgOn 17 September 2015, the Swiss Federal Office of Justice (FOJ) issued a statement confirming that the extradition of former FIFA vice-president, Eugenio Figueredo, from Switzerland to the United States, had been approved by the Swiss Federal Criminal Court. The press statement is here. A report is here.

The accusation against Mr Figueredo is that he received bribes, totalling millions of dollars, from a Uruguayan sports marketing company in connection with the sale of marketing rights to the Copa América tournaments in 2015, 2016, 2019 and 2023. He is also accused of forging medical reports in 2005 and 2006, with a view to fraudulently acquiring US citizenship.

The FOJ ruled that all of the conditions for extradition were fulfilled. Specifically, the principle of dual criminality was satisfied, with the charges punishable under the law of Switzerland and the United States.

Considering the potential Swiss offences, the FOJ stated that the bribery offence allegedly committed by Mr Figueredo would be deemed unfair practices under the Federal Law on Unfair Competition. The allegation that Mr Figueredo used forged medical reports as part of citizenship proceedings would be punishable under the Swiss Criminal Code, as document forgery.

Mr Figueredo has 30 days to appeal against the FOJ decision with the Federal Criminal Court, and five days in which to notify the FOJ of his intention to do so. A further route of appeal exists to the Supreme Court where there are indications of severe deficiencies in the foreign criminal proceedings.

Separately, in related FIFA developments:

  • On 14 September 2015, it was reported that Loretta Lynch, the US Attorney General announced that the US anticipates pursuing ‘additional charges against individuals and entities’. A report is here.
  • On 18 September 2015, the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland (OAG) announced that it was ‘analysing’ claims that Jérôme Valcke, FIFA secretary general, was involved in ticket-touting at the 2014 World Cup. He was suspended on 19 September by FIFA’s ethics committee. A report is here.

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Jasvinder Nakhwal
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