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Bin Hammam refused to collaborate

Mohamed bin Hammam

Mohamed bin Hammam

FIFA member Mohamed Bin Hammam refused to speak to investigators or provide his bank records during the probe into allegations he paid cash gifts to Caribbean football officials, according to a report to FIFA’s ethics committee.

The report, by Freeh Group International (FGI) Europe – the private investigative agency owned by ex-FBI chief Louis Freeh – concludes that while there is “no direct evidence” linking Bin Hammam to the offer or payment of cash there is “compelling circumstantial evidence” that the 62-year-old Qatari was the source of the money.

Bin Hammam, a FIFA executive committee member and president of the Asian Football Confederation, has been suspended since May 29 on charges of bribery. He denies any wrongdoing.

The Freeh report states: “Through his legal counsel, Mr Bin Hammam refused to speak with Investigative Counsel working for the FIFA ethics committee, but expressed his willingness to co-operate with and appear before the FIFA ethics committee.

“Also through his legal counsel, Mr Bin Hammam provided some documents, but refused to provide his banking records for review and said that requested telephone records do not exist.

“The lone banking record provided was proof of a wire transfer from Mr Bin Hammam to the CFU on April 28, 2011, in the amount of $363,557.98.”

That sum was to cover the cost of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) delegates’ travel and accommodation to a special meeting in Trinidad, which Bin Hammam had agreed to pay.

Seven associations from the CFU have told investigators they were offered or accepted cash gifts of €40,000 in a room in the Hyatt Regency Hotel on May 10 after Bin Hammam had made a presentation about his campaign to be FIFA president.

The Freeh report will be the basis for this week’s FIFA ethics committee hearing involving Bin Hammam and two officials from the CFU, Debbie Minguell and Jason Sylvester.

Jack Warner, the FIFA vice-president who was charged along with Bin Hammam, will not face the ethics committee after FIFA dropped the investigation into him following his resignation from football activities.

Neither Warner nor Bin Hammam, nor Minguell and Sylvester, co-operated with the investigation, according to the inquiry team.

The evidence accompanying the report also includes a copy of the sheet on which Louis Giskus, the president of the Surinam FA, wrote down the serial numbers of the bills he received in Trinidad.

Surinam and Puerto Rico still have the money in their accounts while they wait for instructions on what to do with it.

The Grenada Football Federation have already spent all but $1,000 of the $40,000 they received, investigators were told.

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