Ex-Brazilian Olympic chief charged, released in Rio corruption case

By Sara Shayanian  |  Oct. 20, 2017 at 12:47 PM
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Oct. 20 (UPI) -- Brazil's Supreme Court on Friday decided to release former Brazilian Olympic Committee President Carlos Nuzman after he was charged with helping operate a vote-buying-scheme to secure the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Nuzman was charged in the case Friday, which includes counts of corruption, money laundering and evading currency laws.

At a later hearing, the Supreme Court found that jailing Nuzman was "disproportionate to the crimes" he's accused of. The former president, though, is not allowed to leave the city without authorization and was ordered to surrender his passport.

"The decision taken by the Superior Court of Justice ... is worthy of applause and recognition of the law of our country," Nuzman's lawyer, Nelio Machado, said of the decision.

Nuzman was arrested Oct. 5 and subsequently resigned his position as president of the Brazilian Olympic Committee.

Prosecutors also charged Nuzman with helping to run a criminal organization for the purpose of securing Rio de Janeiro as the host of the 2016 summer games. Authorities said their investigation, Operation Unfair Play, found that Nuzman and an associate paid more than $6 million to buy the requisite votes from International Olympic Committee officials.

The scheme included participation by wealthy businessman Arthur Cesar de Menezes Soares Filho and former Rio mayor Sérgio Cabral, officials said.

The IOC has temporarily suspended the Brazilian Olympic Committee, but Brazilian athletes can still participate in the upcoming 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.

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