By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Brazil’s Supreme Court decided on Thursday (October 19th) to release Carlos Arthur Nuzman, former president of Brazil’s Olympic Committee (COB). Nuzman was arrested on October 5th, accused of being part of a vote-buying scheme to have the city of Rio de Janeiro named as the host of the 2016 Olympic Games.
“The decision taken by the Superior Court of Justice, which is the true court of citizenship, and takes care of the final interpretation of the federal law, is worthy of applause and recognition of the law of our country,” said a note released by Nuzman’s lawyer Nelio Machado after the decision.
Although the Court found the incarceration of the former official as ‘disproportionate to the crimes’ Nuzman is said to have committed, the former COB president has been prohibited from leaving Rio de Janeiro without authorization, has handed the Court his passport and can not talk to others involved in the case.
Prosecutors investigating the case, dubbed Operation Unfair Play, claim Nuzman and and general director of the Rio 2016 Organizing Committee, Leonardo Gryner, paid more than US$6 million to International Olympic Committee (IOC) officials in exchange for their votes on choosing Rio de Janeiro as the 2016 Olympic Games city.
Nuzman is also accused of trying to obtain COB resources to pay for his own personal defense, after he was arrested in early October. A week later, on October 11th, after 22 years heading Brazil’s Olympic Committee, Nuzman resigned his post.