- Panama America
The former president of the Panamanian Football Federation (FEPAFUT), Ariel Alvarado, is preparing to face the preliminary hearing of the case on October 31 for alleged commission of financial crimes and money laundering.
"He (Ariel) remains in that he is innocent and has flatly refused to reach a penalty agreement with the prosecutor. We believe they have been insisted on the penalty agreement, because the prosecutor has a very weak case," said the defendant's lawyer Rogelio Cruz told international agencies.
Alvarado was arrested last April and transferred to the prison El Renacer, on the outskirts of the capital, in June.
However, according to the lawyer said, his defendant enjoys since last week a measure of house arrest.
Cruz said that in law there is no doubt that he should be dismissed at the preliminary hearing or acquitted if a trial is reached.
"The norm that is imputed to him is to have received money in exchange for letting him do something or to do something, that last essential element of the crime does not exist," he said.
Cruz went on to say: "It was not him, but the executive committee of the football federation, who approved of Traffic Sports."
In May 2015, the United States Justice Department opened an investigation into massive fraud and money laundering against fifty senior FIFA officials, including around twenty Latin Americans.
The investigation, known as "FIFAGate", revealed that bribes in the entity would reach 200 million dollars, and includes 92 charges for various crimes.