FIFA bribery trial could start in Sept. or Oct. 2017: U.S. judge

Wed Aug 3, 2016 1:27pm EDT
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By Nate Raymond

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The federal judge overseeing the wide-ranging corruption case involving soccer's global governing body FIFA said on Wednesday that a trial for eight defendants could begin in September or October of 2017.

U.S. District Judge Raymond Dearie in Brooklyn at a hearing said that federal prosecutors had sought an early 2017 trial date, but given the amount of evidence still being processed, that September or October of next year was more realistic.

The trial would involve seven former soccer officials and one ex-marketing executive who are among the 42 individuals and entities charged so far in a case that has rocked the soccer world. All eight defendants had previously pleaded not guilty.

The judge said he wanted the case to move forward, noting the first of the eight defendants before him appeared in court in May 2015.

"At some point, we're going to have to call it," Dearie said.

The potential trial date was announced as Assistant U.S. Attorney Evan Norris disclosed that prosecutors expect to bring additional charges in the case, though he said that it was "too early to say" if additional defendants would be charged.

"Our ongoing investigation does continue," Norris said. "It is quite active and quite broad."

U.S. prosecutors accuse the defendants of participating in schemes involving more than $200 million in bribes and kickbacks, both sought and received by soccer officials for marketing and broadcast rights to tournaments and matches.   Continued...

Former Brazilian soccer chief Jose Maria Marin (C), a defendent in the FIFA bribery case, is seen outside the Brooklyn federal court in New York, U.S. August 3, 2016.  REUTERS/Nate Raymond