Julio Rocha agrees to extradition to Nicaragua

Keywords: Corruption | Extradition

Information, FOJ, 14.08.2015

At a hearing today, Julio Rocha, former President of the Nicaraguan Football Federation and former FIFA official, agreed to be extradited to Nicaragua. The Nicaraguan embassy in Bern had submitted a formal extradition request to the Swiss Federal Office of Justice (FOJ) on 10 August 2015.

The Nicaraguan criminal prosecution authorities, like their US counterparts, suspect Rocha of having abused his office for personal gain. He is thought to have taken bribes in connection with the award to a US sports marketing agency of marketing rights to soccer matches.

The FOJ has already approved Rocha's simplified extradition, albeit subject to the question of priority, which might also be accorded to the US request. It will then be for the US authorities to state whether or not they agree to Nicaragua being given priority. If the US authorities do not agree, the issue will be decided by the FOJ. In making its decision, the FOJ will follow Art. 17 of the bilateral extradition treaty with the USA and "shall consider all relevant factors, including but not limited to the relative seriousness and place of commission of the offences, the respective dates of receipt of the requests, the nationality of the person claimed and the possibility of subsequent extradition to another state".

There is no bilateral extradition treaty between Switzerland and Nicaragua, but extradition is fundamentally possible even without a treaty obligation, on the basis of the Federal Act on International Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters (IMAC).

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