The Latest: Defense cross-examines key FIFA trial witness

AP News
Posted: Nov 16, 2017 11:15 AM

NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on the FIFA soccer trial (all times local):

11 a.m.

Defense attorneys have begun cross-examining a key government witness at the U.S. trial of three former South American soccer officials charged in the FIFA bribery scandal.

A lawyer for Juan Angel Napout, the ex-president of Paraguay's soccer federation, pressed former marketing executive Alejandro Burzaco on Thursday about whether he personally paid any bribes to Napout.

Burzaco testified that he never directly gave money to Napout. He said that millions of dollars in bribes were instead channeled through various business entities before reaching the defendant.

Napout and the other soccer officials have pleaded not guilty to racketeering conspiracy and other charges. They're accused of taking part in a 24-year international scheme involving $150 million in bribes in exchange for lucrative broadcasting and hosting rights for soccer tournaments.


10 a.m.

Testimony is continuing while a New York judge and others review prosecutors' claims that a former South American soccer official made a slashing motion across his throat as their star witness testified at his bribery trial.

U.S. District Judge Pamela Chen has been scrutinizing video that prosecutors say backs their claim. The issue was tabled on Thursday while testimony resumed.

Prosecutors said the defendant, Manuel Burga, made a threatening gesture Wednesday while staring at a former sports marketing executive.

The defense says Burga was merely scratching his neck.

Burga, Jose Maria Marin and Juan Angel Napout have pleaded not guilty to charges they took part in a 24-year scheme involving at least $150 million in bribes that secured tournament broadcasting and hosting rights in the sprawling FIFA (FEE'-fuh) scandal.