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November 4, 2015
Star Sport


Extradited FIFA official pleads not guilty in New York court


A Brazilian FIFA official who was a key organiser of the 2014 World Cup in his home country pleaded not guilty yesterday to US charges stemming from a sprawling bribery case that has scandalised the soccer world.

Jose Maria Marin appeared in federal court in Brooklyn following his extradition from Switzerland, where he was arrested in May, along with five other FIFA officials in a dawn raid on a luxury hotel in Zurich. A judge agreed to release the 83-year-old defendant on $15 million bond and allow him to live with tight restrictions in a New York apartment valued at $3.5 million until his case is resolved.

Slumped down

A haggard-looking Marin listened to the proceeding through an interpreter. He slumped down in a chair, while lawyers remained standing in front of the bench discussing his bail conditions. He later rose for a long embrace with his wife, who was required to sign the bond.

The couple left the courtroom without speaking to reporters. Marin's lawyer, Charles Stillman, said he and his client would be "preparing to deal with the charges."

In July, another high-ranking FIFA official, Cayman Islands banker Jeffrey Webb, appeared in the courthouse to enter a not-guilty plea and was released on $10 million bond. The five remaining defendants in Switzerland are fighting extradition.

The FIFA officials are among 14 people named in a US indictment alleging they plotted to arrange bribes of more than $150 million tied to the award of broadcasting and hosting rights for the World Cup and other tournaments over a 24-year period.

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