FIFA Executives Indicted on International Corruption Charges

Originally published on May 29, 2015, at

Fourteen people, including nine FIFA officials and five corporate executives, were indicted this week on corruption charges involving the World Cup and multiple bribery scandals spanning over two decades. On Wednesday, Swiss law enforcement officers arrested seven top FIFA officials staying at a five-star hotel in Zurich. Although the Justice Department has not filed charges against FIFA President Sepp Blatter, the FBI and IRS continue to investigate the myriad allegations leveled against him.

Top officials within the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) have been charged with soliciting and accepting bribes from countries petitioning to host the World Cup in 1998 and 2010. Through the systematic payment of bribes and kickbacks, FIFA executives allegedly forged alliances with sports marketing executives who shut out competitors and kept highly lucrative contracts for themselves. Included in the conspiracy are the current and former presidents CONCACAF, the continental confederation under FIFA headquartered in the United States.

“The indictment alleges corruption that is rampant, systemic, and deep-rooted both abroad and here in the United States,” stated Attorney General Loretta Lynch. “It spans at least two generations of soccer officials who, as alleged, have abused their positions of trust.”

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UK Announces Public Inquiry into Russian Spy’s Poisoning

Originally published on July 25, 2014, at

Blaming Russia for the deaths of the 298 passengers aboard Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17, including 10 passengers from the UK, the British government has announced a public inquiry into poisoned former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko. Seeking justice for her husband’s murder, Marina Litvinenko has met resistance from the British government until recent actions in the Ukraine and deteriorating diplomatic relations with Russia.

While investigating the assassination of investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya, former FSB agent Litvinenko met with three former KGB officers at the Millennium Hotel in London on November 1, 2006. Forensic evidence has revealed Litvinenko’s teacup had been poisoned with the radioactive isotope, polonium-210. Enduring intense agony, Litvinenko entered a hospital and eventually died of heart failure 22 days later.

Before his death, Litvinenko revealed the names of his killers: Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitry Kovtun, the former KGB officers who had tea with him, and Vladimir Putin, the man who had ordered his execution.

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