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Corruption probe US wants priority in FIFA official extradition

Rocha is a wanted man both in Nicaragua and the US

(Keystone)

The U.S. Department of Justice has requested the Swiss justice ministry on Thursday to extradite former FIFA official and former president of the Nicaraguan Football Federation Julio Rocha to the US instead of Nicaragua. 

Rocha, a Nicaraguan national, is among six FIFA officials currently in detention in Switzerland since May 27 due to US arrest warrants concerning corruption charges. A seventh FIFA official had agreed to be extradited to the US in July. 

"We have always said we will decide in September... We will decide on the U.S. request concerning Rocha and also decide the question of which state has priority," said ministry spokesman Folco Galli. 

The Nicaraguan embassy in Bern had submitted a formal extradition request to the Federal Office of Justice on August 10 and Rocha agreed to be extradited to Nicaragua at a hearing on August 14. 

Anticipating American unwillingness to let go of Rocha, justice office stated two weeks ago that it "shall consider all relevant factors, including but not limited to the relative seriousness and place of commission of the offences, the respective dates of receipt of the requests, the nationality of the person claimed and the possibility of subsequent extradition to another state". 

Switzerland has a bilateral extradition treaty with the US but not Nicaragua. However, extradition to Nicaragua is still possible on the basis of the Federal Act on International Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters (IMAC).

 

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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