A Brazilian court has turned down a habeas corpus appeal by lawyers for Kia Joorabchian and is maintaining charges he laundered money while working as a director of Copa Libertadores champions Corinthians in 2005.
The court said Joorabchian and Nojan Bedroud illegally brought $32.5 million dollars into Brazil while directors of Media Sports Investment, the company that ran Corinthians from 2004 to 2007.
The money came from illegal sources in Russia and elsewhere and was used to buy players for Corinthians, Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano among them, the Superior Court of Justice said.
Argentines Tevez and Mascherano signed record deals with Corinthians in 2005 and helped the club win the Brazilian championship that year. They were later transferred to West Ham in a financially controversial deal.
Tevez now plays for Manchester City and Mascherano is at Barcelona.
Joorabchian, an Iranian who spent much of his life in the UK, became friendly with Tevez when they were both at Corinthians and is still close a close advisor to the controversial striker.
Joorabchian’s lawyers had requested the case to be thrown out, claiming all evidence was gained by illegal wire taps. The court rejected that appeal and said the accusations stand.
It is unclear if there is still an arrest warrant out for Joorabchian, who now rarely visits the South American nation.
Corinthians won the Copa Libertadores in July and go to Japan for the World Club Championship in December where they could face Champions League winners Chelsea.