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Defendant threatens witness at FIFA trial
November 17, 2017
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New York: A trial exposing rampant corruption in the business of world football ended a day of testimony Wednesday with a defendant accused of making throat-slashing gestures to intimidate a key witness.

The witness, Alejandro Buzarco, was weeping and appeared visibly distraught as he began his second day of testimony in the FIFA corruption trial in the Brooklyn federal court, prompting the judge to pause the proceedings. Many in the court assumed Buzarco was upset because a former Argentine football official had committed suicide in Buenos Aires the day before after being implicated in the scandal by the Argentine businessman.

Buzarko, who headed sports marketing firm Torneos y Competencias, had accused Jorge Delhon and another official with a government program that held television rights to Argentine football matches of taking millions of dollars in bribes. Delhon threw himself in the path of a train.

The federal prosecutor told the judge that Buzarco reacted as he did because one of the defendants, Manuel Burga, a former head of Peru’s soccer federation, had twice drawn a finger across his neck.

“There has been a new crime committed, intimidation of a witness,” prosecutor Kristin Mace told the judge.

Burga’s lawyer, Bruce Udolf, scoffed at the suggestion: “This is a gentle, big, timid man,” he said.

“He was scratching his neck.”

Agence France-Presse

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