Argentine judge refuses US extradition requests for Jinkises and Deluca

October 19 –Argentina has refused a US extradition request for three of it nationals accused of bribery and money laundering in the US Department of Justice investigation into football corruption worldwide.

Father-and-son sports marketing team Hugo and Mariano Jinkis, who ran the Full Play agency, and former CONMEBOL chief Eduardo Deluca are currently under house arrest in Buenos Aires where they are facing corruption charges.

Federal Judge Claudio Bonadio ruled that the request for their extradition saying that they should not be tried for the same crimes in two different countries.

“For the Jinkis (pair) and Deluca to face the same charges in two ongoing investigations in the jurisdictions of New York and Buenos Aires would put their constitutional rights at risk,” said an opinion published by Argentina’s CIJ judicial information agency.

Hugo Jinkis, 71, and his son Mariano, 41, were among the initial wave of football executives indicted by US authorities in May 2014. Although not arrested in the Zurich raids (they had been in Europe but not in Switzerland), they handed themselves into Argentine police in Buenos Aires three weeks later on June 18.

They are accused by US prosecutors of conspiring with a third Argentine, sports media executive Alejandro Burzaco (formerly chief executive of TyC), to win and retain media rights for regional soccer tournaments by paying tens of millions of dollars in bribes.

The tournament rights covered include the regional national championship the Copa America and the top regional club competitions, the Copa Libertadores.

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