Lawyers for ex-Fox execs attack star witness as FIFA corruption trial closes

Lawyers for ex-Fox execs attack star witness as FIFA corruption trial closes

March 3 (Reuters) – Legal professionals for two previous 21st Century Fox executives accused of bribing South American soccer officers assailed the reliability of the government’s star witness on Friday, as their 7-7 days demo draws to a near.

Carlos Martinez and Hernan Lopez are charged with wire and securities fraud conspiracy for allegedly scheming to pay out tens of tens of millions of dollars in bribes to secure lucrative broadcasting legal rights for global soccer tournaments. Cooperating witness Alejandro Burzaco testified that his former company companions knew about and accredited the bribes.

A lawyer for Martinez instructed jurors in Brooklyn federal court on Friday that Burzaco ran the plan in key and falsely accused his customer in hopes of obtaining a lighter sentence as element of his deal with prosecutors.

“Cooperation agreements aren’t magic wands,” attorney Steven McCool claimed. “They really don’t flip liars into truth of the matter-tellers.”

A law firm for Burzaco, who has nonetheless to be sentenced, explained in a statement that his client has been “truthful and steady” and that it was “absurd” to counsel he was lying in his “highly corroborated” testimony.

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The case is element of a sweeping corruption probe of world wide soccer and its governing human body, FIFA. The investigation has led to scores convictions since U.S. and international authorities produced their initial arrests in 2015.

In the course of her closing rebuttal, prosecutor Kaitlin Farrell reported Burzaco’s testimony was “devastating” but disputed his centrality to the circumstance, describing him as a tutorial as a result of the corrupt globe of worldwide soccer.

“This is a doc case that has a narrator,” Farrell claimed.

Above the 7-7 days demo, jurors observed heaps of e-mails, contracts and organization information that prosecutors say expose a decades-prolonged plan to bribe prime officers at CONMEBOL, South American soccer’s governing system.

The defense argued that none of the paperwork directly implicated Martinez or Lopez and explained Burzaco’s stories of meetings wherever the three guys talked over the bribes had been fiction.

“Burzaco had very little to attain and every little thing to lose by bringing Hernan Lopez and Carlos Martinez in (on the plan),” reported David Sarratt, an legal professional for Lopez.

Full Perform Group SA, a co-defendant in the case, is also accused of bribing soccer officers. The Argentina-primarily based athletics advertising company’s lawyers have argued bribery is an entrenched portion of carrying out business enterprise in South The us and hence not fraudulent activity.

Jurors are established to start out deliberating on Monday.

Reporting by Jack Queen in New York Enhancing by Invoice Berkrot

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