SAO PAULO (AP) – Carlos Arthur Nuzman, president of the Brazilian Olympic Committee for more than two decades, has been sentenced to 30 years and 11 months in prison for allegedly buying votes for Rio de Janeiro to host the 2016 Olympics.
Judge Marcelo Bretas’ decision became public on Thursday.
Nuzman, who also headed the Rio 2016 organizing committee, was found guilty of corruption, criminal organization, money laundering and tax evasion. The 79-year-old executive will not be jailed until all his appeals are heard.
He and his lawyer have not commented on the decision.
Bretas also sentenced to prison former Rio governor Sergio Cabral, businessman Arthur Soares and Leonardo Gryner, who was the chief operating officer of the Rio 2016 committee. Investigators say the three and Nuzman are together. are coordinated to bribe former President of the International Association of Athletics Federations, Lamine Diack, and his son Papa Diack for votes.
Cabral, who has been in prison since 2016 and faces a string of other convictions and investigations, told Bretas two years ago he paid around $ 2 million in exchange for up to six votes in the the meeting of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) which awarded Rio the Olympic and Paralympic Games prize. He said the money came from a debt Soares owed him.
Cabral, who ruled the state of Rio between 2003 and 2010, added that an additional $ 500,000 was later paid to Diack’s son in a bid to secure three more votes from IOC members.
Bretas’ decision qualifies Nuzman as “one of the main people responsible for the promotion and organization of the criminal scheme, given his position within the Brazilian Olympic Committee and before the international authorities”. The judge also said that the sports executive “directed and coordinated the action of other agents, clearly as a leader” to illegally seize support for the IOC.
The judge said he would send the results of the investigation to Senegalese and French authorities, where Papa Diack and Lamine Diack respectively live.
Rio’s bid defeated Chicago, Tokyo and Madrid to host the 2016 Games.
The investigation in Brazil began in 2017 after French newspaper Le Monde discovered that IOC members had been bribed three days before the 2009 session in Copenhagen, where Rio was chosen to host the Games.
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