Eduardo Li, the ex-president of the Costa Rican Football Federation (FEDEFUTBOL) accused of corruption in connection with the ongoing FIFA scandal, will request to be released on bail from a New York state prison, sources close to the situation told the AFP on Wednesday.
The motion proposing bail for Li will be presented either Thursday or Friday, according to the sources. Li was arrested in Zurich on May 27, 2015 when the “FIFAgate” scandal began and was extradited to the United States on Dec. 18.
Li could ask for a trial as early as next week, possibly on Feb. 10, so that a federal judge from Brooklyn looks over the bond request with prosecutors and Li’s defense team.
Upon being extradited, the 57-year-old Li said he is innocent of the 19 charges against him, which include fraud and money laundering while he was the head of Costa Rica’s football federation, FEDEFUTBOL. He has been detained in the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn since his extradition.
After Tuesday’s release of Honduras’ Alfredo Hawit, the suspended president of CONCACAF, Li is the only remaining FIFA leader who remains in a U.S. prison.
In all, 39 FIFA figures and two sports marketing companies are caught up in the indictments handed down by the U.S. Justice Department in May and December of last year. Already 12 individuals have declared themselves guilty, seeking to cooperate with prosecutors in exchange for a reduced penalty.
The wide-sweeping scandal also affected resigned FIFA president Joseph “Sepp” Blatter, who was suspended from any involvement in football for eight years, as was former UEFA president Michel Platini.