Former head of Brazilian Olympic Committee sentenced to 30 years in jail

Former head of Brazilian Olympic Committee sentenced to 30 years in jail

FILE PHOTO: Former Brazil Olympic Committee (COB) President Carlos Arthur Nuzman leaves the public jail Jose Frederico Marques in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil October 20, 2017. REUTERS/Bruno Kelly/File Photo

  • The ruling was announced by Judge Marcelo Bretas from the 7th Criminal Court in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday (Nov 25)
  • The 79-year-old executive was found guilty of money laundering, tax evasion, corruption and criminal organization. Nuzman's lawyers appealed the sentence and he will stay free until the appeal is heard

Former Rio 2016 and Brazilian Olympic Committee president Carlos Arthur Nuzman has been sentenced to 30 years and 11 months in jail for buying votes for Rio de Janeiro to host the 2016 Olympics.

The ruling was announced by Judge Marcelo Bretas from the 7th Criminal Court in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday (Nov 25).

The 79-year-old executive, who was the head of the Brazilian Olympic Committee for more than two decades, was found guilty of money laundering, tax evasion, corruption and criminal organization. Nuzman's lawyers appealed the sentence and he will stay free until the appeal is heard.

Nuzman, a former honorary International Olympic Committee (IOC) member, was first arrested in October 2017 along with his right-hand man, former Rio 2016 director of operations Leonardo Gryner, accused of arranging more than US$2 million in bribes to get the IOC to pick Rio de Janeiro as host of the 2016 Olympics. Rio was awarded the Games in 2009, beating out Chicago, Tokyo and Madrid.

Gryner, former Rio de Janeiro Governor Sergio Cabral and businessman Arthur César de Menezes Soares Filho were also convicted for collaborating to bribe IOC officials. Gryner was sentenced to 13 years and 10 months in jail for corruption and criminal organisation.

Cabral, who has been in jail since 2016 for a series of corruption scandals, was sentenced to a further 10 years and eight months. He had given the judge details of the bribery conspiracy after reaching an agreement to disclose sensitive information on other cases.

Cabral told Bretas that he, Nuzman, Soares and Gryner coordinated "to buy the votes" of the former president of the International Association of Athletics Federations, Lamine Diack, and his son, Papa Diack, and others.