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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 April, 2003, 04:45 GMT 05:45 UK
Olympics bribes case to go ahead
Salt Lake City Winter Olympics 2002 opening ceremony
The scandal was one of the worst in Olympic history
A federal appeals court in the United States has reinstated criminal charges against two officials from Salt Lake City, who had been accused of using bribes worth more than $1m to help their city secure the 2002 Winter Olympics.

The court in Denver overturned a ruling made by a judge in the men's home state of Utah two years ago, dismissing the case.

The ruling means the case against the former president and vice-president of the Salt Lake City Bid Committee, Tom Welch and Dave Johnson, will now be tried before a jury in a federal court.

The scandal was one of the worst in Olympic history, and led to the expulsion or resignation of 10 members of the International Olympic Committee for allegedly receiving inducements.

The two men deny 15 charges including fraud and conspiracy.

Each of the charges carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

'Cash and gifts'

Utah Governor Mike Leavitt issued a statement critical of Tuesday's ruling.

"I believe I reflect the will of the community when I say it is unfortunate that federal prosecutors have continued to press this case. Those charged have endured enough," he said.

The two men were originally indicted for allegedly conspiring to bribe members of the IOC by plying them and relatives with $1m in cash, scholarships, travel, gifts and medical care.

They were also accused of hiding or disguising the payments and perks from their board of trustees.

Controversy surrounding the awarding of the 2002 games, and bribery allegations, led to severe criticism of the IOC and its outgoing president, Juan Antonio Samaranch.

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