Suspended Guatemalan judge granted release on bond in U.S. soccer case

Thu Jan 7, 2016 7:34pm EST
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By Nate Raymond

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A suspended Guatemalan judge who was arrested last month as part of a U.S. investigation into corruption in soccer's world governing body FIFA won the right to be released from jail on Thursday on a $4 million bond.

Héctor Trujillo, 62, was secretary general of the Guatemalan soccer federation and a Constitutional Court judge until his Dec. 4 arrest while aboard a Disney cruise ship docked in Florida.

With Trujillo's wife and one of his sons watching in court, U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert Levy in Brooklyn, New York approved the $4 million bond package for Trujillo under which he will be subject to home confinement and electronic monitoring.

Florian Miedel, Trujillo's lawyer, said his client would reside in New Jersey pending trial.

According to the indictment, Trujillo solicited and accepted bribe payments from Media World, an affiliate of Spanish media company Imagina Group, for media and marketing rights for 2018 and 2022 World Cup qualifier matches.

Trujillo spent more than a month in U.S. custody, including three weeks in a facility in Oklahoma and a period in solitary confinement while in a Brooklyn detention center due to concerns authorities had about his safety, Miedel said.

"There was concern there about possible gang activity in the jail," Miedel told reporters. "And as a Guatemalan judge, I guess they thought it was a risk to him."

Trujillo is one of dozens of soccer officials charged by U.S. authorities investigating corruption in FIFA in a probe that has rocked soccer worldwide and sent the organization into crisis.   Continued...

Former secretary general of the Guatemalan football federation Hector Trujillo of Guatemala leaves Brooklyn Federal Court in the Brooklyn borough of New York, January 7, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri