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Ex-chief of Brazil's Olympics committee sentenced to 30 years for vote-buying

Ex-chief of Brazil's Olympics committee sentenced to 30 years for vote-buying
The former president of the Brazilian Olympic Committee Carlos Arthur Nuzman (R) was sentenced to more than 30 years in prison. File Photo by Antonio Lacerda/EPA

Nov. 26 (UPI) -- The former head of the Brazilian Olympic Committee, Carlos Arthur Nuzman, was sentenced to 30 years and 11 months in prison for helping to operate a vote-buying scheme to secure the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Judge Marcelo Bretas of the 7th Criminal Court in Rio de Janeiro handed down the sentencing Thursday. He was found guilty of corruption, criminal organization, money laundering and tax evasion.

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"The culpability is high, as Carlos Arthur Nuzman was the main creator of the illicit scheme examined in these records and thus acted taking advantage of the high position achieved over 22 years as president of the Brazilian Olympic Committee, which is why his conduct must be valued more rigorously than that of any corrupt person," Bretas said.

Nuzman's lawyer told The New York Times he plans to appeal the verdict. He'll remain free from prison until all his appeals have been exhausted, the New York Daily News reported.

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Prosecutors said Nuzman acted as an intermediary to secure votes for Brazil in the International Olympic Committee in exchange for cash. The IOC selected Rio to host the 2016 Games over competing cities Madrid, Chicago and Tokyo.

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After his arrest in 2017, Nuzman resigned his position as president of the Brazilian Olympic Committee.

The former governor of Rio, Sergio Cabral, said he paid $2 million to former International Association of Athletics Federations President Lamine Diack and his son in bribes to buy votes. Cabral is now serving a virtual life sentence for corruption and money laundering.

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