Brazilian Olympic chief arrested on bribery and fraud charges

06 October, 2017, 00:37 | Author: Randy Kelley
  • Leonardo Gryner director-general of operations for Rio 2016 Organising Committee has also been arrested

Carlos Nuzman, president of the brazilian olympic Committee and the organising committee of the olympic Games in Rio, suspected of having bought votes to get the olympics 2016, was arrested Thursday in Brazil, police said.

The O Globo portal reported that Leonardo Gryner, marketing chief for the Rio organizing committee, was also arrested. Nuzman is also head of the Brazilian Olympic Committee and is an Honorary member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). His passport had been confiscated.

The revelations come after prosecutors from across the globe launched the so-called "Unfair Play" investigation last month.

Simultaneously, the French authorities had sifted through the home of a middle-brazilian installed in France, in the framework of an investigation opened in 2015 in France on the suspicion of corruption in the elections of the Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020.

"The [International Olympic Committee's] chief ethics and compliance officer has asked the Brazilian authorities for full information in order to proceed with the IOC's investigation, and has offered the IOC's full cooperation", the IOC said in a brief statement.

Marcelo Bretas, the federal judge who issued the arrest warrant, said that new evidence indicated Nuzman's role in the alleged vote buying scheme was "more relevant" than previously believed.

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"The accusation of vote-buying for the 2016 Olympics is unfounded", Nelio Machado, a lawyer for Nuzman, told reporters.

Nuzman sits in the back of a police auto.

Bretas said that Nuzman's wealth increased roughly four-fold between 2006 and 2016. In their statement they cite an email from Papa Massata directly asking Nuzman for help with "the final process", and an email discussing difficulties in bank transfers.

Brazilian authorities have said the behind-the-scenes dealings to win the vote amounted to a "criminal organization", led by Sergio Cabral, the former governor of Rio de Janeiro who has been jailed on a different corruption conviction.

"(But) given the new facts, the International Olympic Committee ethics commission may consider provisional measures while respecting Mr Nuzman's right to be heard", it said, before adding "the presumption of innocence prevails". Given the new facts, the IOC Ethics Commission may consider provisional measures while respecting Mr Nuzman's right to be heard. Nuzman, an honorary member of the International Olympic Committee, would enjoy the presumption of innocence. It's alleged Carlos Nuzman was involved in a vote-buying scheme.

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