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Former Brazilian official claims he helped with US$2M bribe to secure 2016 Olympic Games

Published:Saturday | July 6, 2019 | 10:03 AM
The opening ceremony for the 2016 Olympic Games at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro

Former Rio de Janeiro Governor Sergio Cabral has claimed that he helped pay a US$2 million bribe to bring the 2016 Olympic Games to the Brazilian city.

Cabral, who served two terms as Rio state governor from 2007 to 2014, spoke out during a hearing requested by his new legal team as he seeks to have his lengthy prison sentence slashed.

He is currently serving a 200-year sentence for several corruption cases.

The former governor told a judge the US$2 million payment was made to secure votes in the decision-making meeting in 2009.

He charged that Carlos Nuzman, the then chairman of the Brazilian Olympic Committee, handled the negotiations.

Nuzman was arrested in 2017 amid an investigation into the alleged vote-buying scheme.

He has denied any wrongdoing.

According to Cabral, then Brazilian President, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, was informed after the money had allegedly changed hands.

Attorneys for Lula have denied the claim.

The former Rio governor charged, too, that then president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), Lamine Diack, also served as an intermediary in the alleged deal.

Diack, who has denied any wrongdoing, is set to go on trial in France later this year.

Joint criminal investigations by authorities in Brazil and France into alleged bribery have already implicated Nuzman, Diack, his son and then-IOC executive board member and former Namibia sprint star Frank Fredericks.

However, no leading officials have admitted involvement until now.

Cabral, who was convicted of corruption, money laundering and embezzlement, is hoping that the new information will lead to a reduction in his sentence.

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