July 22 – Former Conmebol president Juan Angel Napout, currently serving a nine-year prison sentence in Miami for his part in the FIFAGate corruption scandals, has had his request for compassionate release turned down despite having contracted Covid-19.
In recent months Napout has already had an appeal against his conviction turned down as well as an earlier request to be released to home confinement as his lawyers argued he was a vulnerable person due to his age (62) and because he suffers from hypertension.
New York federal Judge Pamela Chen rejected the request saying neither his age or hypertension, nor testing positive for the virus were extraordinary or compelling reasons for an early release.
“Compassionate release was intended before COVID to situations that were more clearly dire or more life-threatening,” Judge Chen said.
She also said that his condition was not severe enough that it couldn’t be treated in prison. However, she did leave a potential door open ordering the prosecutors to report back to her on whether his condition had worsened, and told Napout’s lawyers they could renew the motion if his condition changed.
Judge Chen has previously granted early release to Napout’s co-defendant, former Brazilian soccer federation President Jose Maria Marin, due to his health risks amid the coronavirus pandemic. However she said while Marin is the closest comaprison to Napout in terms of his crime and sentence, she said Marin’s situation was different because he was 87 and had served three years of his shorter four-year sentence.
Napout, 62, was sentenced in 2017 after being convicted of racketeering and wire fraud over the awarding of television and marketing rights in exchange for kickbacks.
The former FIFA vice-president and one-time head of the Paraguayan FA was also fined $1 million and ordered to repay $3.3 million in bribes he received.
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