FIFA Corruption Trial Witness Accused Of Trying To Intimidate Defendant
The trial of three former FIFA officials charged with corruption "took on the appearance of a mob case" on Wednesday, as a defense attorney accused one of the prosecution's cooperating witnesses of "trying to stare down her client," according to Rob Crilly of the London DAILY MAIL. The "extraordinary confrontation is a reminder of the bitterness in play as a slew" of former football bureaucrats and marketing execs offer evidence against each other. Heightened security, courtroom confrontations and an anonymous jury give proceedings "the air of an organised crime trial rather than a white-collar fraud." Alejandro Burzaco, the former CEO of an Argentinian sports marketing company, was due to resume his testimony on Wednesday. But before the jury could be brought into the courtroom at N.Y.'s federal court, Silvia Pinera-Vazquez, who represents Juan Ángel Napout, accused Burzaco of "trying to intimidate her client." Pinera-Vazquez yelled across the room, "Stop staring at my client. There's no need to stare him down." Burzaco left "shortly afterwards" as the case was adjourned for an hour, "the latest delay as prosecution and defense negotiate details of his cross-examination." Security at the court has been "tightened because of the nature of the trial." The jury was sworn in anonymously and all electronics have been banned from the courtroom (DAILY MAIL, 11/15).
EXEC ENDS LIFE: In London, Ed Malyon reported Jorge Delhon, a former exec with the Argentine government's Fútbol Para Todos program, killed himself on Tuesday, the same day that he was accused of taking bribes at the FIFA corruption trial. Delhon was alleged to have accepted $500,000 per year from '11-14 to secure the broadcasting rights to int'l football games. He was later "found dead on rail tracks in the Lanus suburb of Buenos Aires after colliding with a train" (INDEPENDENT, 11/15).
FURTHER INVESTIGATION: REUTERS reported U.S. law firm Bronstein, Gewirtz & Grossman said on Wednesday that it is investigating claims that Mexico's Grupo Televisa paid bribes to secure TV rights for football matches. The law firm, which "urged Televisa investors to assist its investigation," did not immediately respond to a request for comment (REUTERS, 11/15).