One former Fox executive was convicted in a bribery case related to World Cup media rights, while a second was acquitted.
Per The Guardian, Hernan Lopez, the former CEO of Fox International Channels, was convicted on charges of wire fraud and money laundering. Carlos Martinez, the former president of Fox Networks Group Latin America, was acquitted.
Alejandro Burzaco, a former associate of Lopez and Martinez, was a key witness, though one juror said they “didn’t find him credible.”
In the Lopez and Martinez case, prosecutors’ star witness was the executives’ former business associate Alejandro Burzaco. He has cooperated in soccer corruption investigations since his 2015 arrest in a related bribery case.
During 11 days on the witness stand, Burzaco said he and the two executives paid millions of dollars in bribes to undermine competing bids for the TV rights to the Southern Hemisphere’s biggest annual tournament, the Copa Libertadores, and help land broadcasting rights to the sport’s most lucrative competition, the World Cup.
Two jurors who agreed to speak after the trial said Burzaco was not a factor in their decisions.
“We didn’t find him credible,” said one of the jurors, Robert Rose, who works as an attorney.
Burzaco’s testimony was reported earlier this year by the New York Times.
Former ESPN president John Skipper also testified in the case, saying he was “disappointed” and “angry” about losing the rights, despite a strong bid from ESPN for the domestic English-language rights.
Lopez plans on appealing the conviction, with attorney John Gleeson claiming “legal and factual errors.”