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Defense locks in on soccer corruption scandal trial

NEW YORK – A lawyer of the former president of Brazil’s football federation has against a US jury that his client was clueless about a bribery scheme that scandalized the sport.

The remarks came Thursday in closing arguments at the trial of Jose Maria Marin and two other former South American football officials.

Lawyer Charles Stillman said Marin was seen as a powerless figurehead in the Brazilian football. He said that is the reason why Marin of a scheme by the football officials to collect bribes in exchange for their influence in the granting of marketing rights to tournaments.

Marin and the other defendants have pleaded not guilty to extortion conspiracy, wire fraud, conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy. Their lawyers say the evidence is too weak to condemn.

Prosecutors were to make rebuttal arguments later Thursday.

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