March 3 (Reuters) – Lawyers for two former 21st Century Fox executives accused of bribing South American soccer officers assailed the credibility of the government’s star witness on Friday, as their 7-week demo draws to a close.
Carlos Martinez and Hernan Lopez are charged with wire and securities fraud conspiracy for allegedly scheming to spend tens of tens of millions of pounds in bribes to safe beneficial broadcasting rights for intercontinental soccer tournaments. Cooperating witness Alejandro Burzaco testified that his previous enterprise companions understood about and approved the bribes.
A law firm for Martinez advised jurors in Brooklyn federal court docket on Friday that Burzaco ran the plan in secret and falsely accused his customer in hopes of getting a lighter sentence as part of his offer with prosecutors.
“Cooperation agreements aren’t magic wands,” attorney Steven McCool said. “They do not turn liars into real truth-tellers.”
A lawyer for Burzaco, who has nonetheless to be sentenced, mentioned in a assertion that his customer has been “truthful and dependable” and that it was “absurd” to recommend he was lying in his “highly corroborated” testimony.
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The circumstance is portion of a sweeping corruption probe of world soccer and its governing overall body, FIFA. The investigation has led to scores convictions because U.S. and international authorities produced their 1st arrests in 2015.
For the duration of her closing rebuttal, prosecutor Kaitlin Farrell claimed Burzaco’s testimony was “devastating” but disputed his centrality to the circumstance, describing him as a guideline as a result of the corrupt entire world of global soccer.
“This is a document situation that has a narrator,” Farrell reported.
Above the seven-week trial, jurors observed heaps of emails, contracts and organization records that prosecutors say reveal a yrs-very long scheme to bribe major officers at CONMEBOL, South American soccer’s governing system.
The protection argued that none of the files directly implicated Martinez or Lopez and reported Burzaco’s stories of meetings wherever the three adult men talked about the bribes were fiction.
“Burzaco experienced absolutely nothing to obtain and everything to drop by bringing Hernan Lopez and Carlos Martinez in (on the plan),” said David Sarratt, an legal professional for Lopez.
Complete Engage in Team SA, a co-defendant in the circumstance, is also accused of bribing soccer officials. The Argentina-based sports activities promoting company’s lawyers have argued bribery is an entrenched part of executing business enterprise in South The usa and thus not fraudulent action.
Jurors are established to start out deliberating on Monday.
Reporting by Jack Queen in New York Modifying by Bill Berkrot
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