GENEVA: The president of the Swiss-based International Handball Federation is facing bribery and corruption allegations in a scandal over television contracts.
Prosecutors in Hamburg, Germany, said Friday that they suspect Hassan Moustafa improperly received €602,000 ($830,000) in apparent consulting fees in 2007.
Moustafa is suspected of "bribery and corruption and irregularities in the marketing of sports rights," prosecutor’s office spokesman Wilhelm Moellers said.
The Egyptian official’s home in Rheinfelden, Switzerland, and IHF offices in nearby Basel were raided Wednesday by Swiss authorities following a German request.
"He was not there. They said he was in Cairo," Markus Melzl, spokesman for Basel canton (state) prosecutors told The Associated Press.
The IHF said on its website that Moustafa’s wife, Magda Fahmy Ezz, who was dean of the Cairo Ballet Institute, had died on Friday aged 64.
In Switzerland and Hamburg, documents and emails were seized in the raids.
"Now we have to evaluate what we collected before deciding whether to bring charges," Moellers told the AP.
The scandal has involved international sports marketing agency Sportfive, though its current staff are not suspected of wrongdoing.
Sportfive, which bought rights to IHF competitions from 2006-09, confirmed that its Hamburg office was visited as part of the probe.
"The background is an investigation by the Hamburg public prosecutor’s office, directed particularly at Mr. Hassan Moustafa," Sportfive said in a statement.
"The investigation is aimed neither at Sportfive nor at employees of Sportfive. Sportfive is cooperating with the public prosecutor’s office."
Moustafa is alleged to have received a check for €300,000 ($414,000) in April 2007 and a bank transfer of €302,000 ($416,000) in November 2007.
Moellers said the contracts were for "consulting," but that prosecutors suspect the payments were bribes and "reward" for giving TV rights to Sportfive.
German magazine Der Speigel reported last year that Moustafa had a personal contract with the agency in 2006 while also able to influence the award of commercial contracts.
Moustafa has been IHF president since 2000, when he became the first sports official from Egypt to lead an international federation.
The federation said it would issue a statement Friday, but declined to comment when contacted by telephone. –AP Sports Writer Nesha Starcevic in Frankfurt, Germany contributed to this report.