Luis Rubiales arrested at Madrid airport

Luis Rubiales arrested at Madrid airport
Luis Rubiales arrested at Madrid airport

Guardia Civil officers removed Luis Rubiales from the plane on Wednesday after he landed following a trip to the Dominican Republic. The charges were read out in a police station at Barajas airport, after which he was released conditionally.

The former association chairman is suspected of being one of the key figures in “Operation Brody”, a major investigation into years of corruption at the top of the football association. On March 20, Spanish investigating judge Delia Rodrigo ordered a series of house searches during which seven senior members of the football association were arrested. Only Rubiales escaped the dance, because he had already been in the Dominican Republic for several months. But the Spanish justice system also hunted him down in the Caribbean. On Monday, a search was carried out at his temporary residence in the presence of Dominican officers.

Rubiales then traveled to Spain. His lawyers left it in the newspaper El Mundo appear that he wanted to cooperate with the court. In another case, surrounding the unwanted kiss to player Jenni Hermoso, the Spanish public prosecutor demanded 2.5 years in prison last week.

In an interview with the Spanish TV channel La Sexta, which was shot in the Dominican Republic and aired Wednesday, Rubiales denies guilt in both cases. Rubiales called the statements of Jenni Hermoso, who said she was forcibly kissed, “manipulative.” Regarding the bribe allegations, he said he earned his capital through “hard work and savings.”

Illegal payments

Operation Brody concerns, among other things, illegal payments by Saudi Arabia to members of the Spanish Football Association. A company owned by former player Gerard Piqué, Kosmos, would have served as an intermediate station. The money was paid in return for the decision to play the semi-finals and final of the Copa del Rey in Saudi Arabia.

Rubiales is also said to have received money from a construction company that was allowed to carry out lucrative contracts for the Spanish Football Association. Those payments would have lasted until this year. El Mundo revealed that the company in question, Gruconsa, was appointed last month to carry out renovations at the Spanish association’s headquarters in Las Rozas. Gruconsa’s director is Angel González Segura, the brother of Rubiales’ legal right-hand man.

A company owned by Rubiales’ best friend, Francisco Javier Martin Alcaide, nicknamed Nene, is also said to be involved in the fraudulent schemes. Illegal commissions are said to have been paid for projects in China and for the renovation of the La Cartuja stadium in Seville, among others. According to El Mundo the police suspect that Rubiales diverted 3.8 million euros from the football association to friendly companies and received 530,000 euros in bribes.


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