No one ever said the FIFA corruption trials would be normal. But I don’t think anyone expected this bizarre turn of events. Kevin Jonas was called to the stand to testify for the prosecution during the ongoing court case on Thursday at a U.S. Federal Court in Brooklyn.
Yeah, that Kevin Jonas, the eldest of the Jonas Brothers pop group. “The ugly one who had a reality show with his wife,” according to my only friend who has any knowledge of the Jonas Brothers. Jonas was asked to clear up a minor matter and it makes you wonder what the hell the prosecution was thinking.
This particular part of the court case involved Paraguayan Juan Angel Napout, one of three men currently on trial for their roles in a 24-year scheme involving at least $150 million in bribes for broadcasting and hosting rights to FIFA events. Napout is on trial with Jose Maria Marin of Brazil and Manuel Burga of Peru in the first of what could be many cases involving corrupt FIFA officials.
The first week of the trials played out like a poorly scripted episode of Law & Order, because no one in TV would believe everything that took place. Burga made death threats to a witness on the stand, an Argentine official committed suicide after being implicated and the current president of Paraguay was a part of the testimony.
And yet, here we are a couple weeks later and the FIFA corruption trials became even more ludicrous. Thursday’s introduction of Kevin Jonas into the testimony marked an odd choice for the prosecution.
— Ken Bensinger (@kenbensinger) December 7, 2017
The point Jonas was brought in to make was to confirm that a Paul McCartney concert took place on Nov. 11, 2010, in Buenos Aires. Napout, who’s accused of racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering, is accused of receiving “super expensive” tickets to the McCartney show. Napout’s defense claimed the concert never took place, which would normally seem like a crazy thing to propose, but this is FIFA so who the f*ck knows anymore.
Surely it’d be easy to say the concert took place with simple documentation or by asking a tour manager or venue owner. Even a random concertgoer would have sufficed. Instead, Kevin Jonas was asked to testify that he was at the concert.
Jonas was in Argentina to put on a show with the Jonas Brothers a couple days after the McCartney show. They were invited to attend the concert at the River Plate stadium and Jonas said: “Any time you get to see Paul McCartney, it’s pretty special.” That’s not opinion or anything, just fact.
According to Ken Bensinger, a BuzzFeed reporter who was at the trial, Jonas “sweetly answered” a few questions to confirm the concert took place.
Again, @kevinjonas of the #jonasbrothers just testified in the #FIFA soccer trial in US federal court in Brooklyn. Hats off to the prosecutors Sam Nitze, Kristin Mace and Keith Edelman for creativity.— Ken Bensinger (@kenbensinger) December 7, 2017
Calling a relatively famous musician to testify about something that would have been easy to prove seems like overkill. It’s especially odd when you consider the case being prosecuted. Do you really want to go overboard with a celebrity on stand when you’re trying to accuse the defendant of excesses?
Fortunately, at least one person in the courtroom enjoyed seeing the Jonas brother on the stand. One of Napout’s lawyers reportedly said he had taken his children to see a Jonas Brothers concert in Miami. He then began playing “Stacy’s Mom” (not a Jonas Brothers song, but whatever) on his cell phone and began dancing. Yup.
Burga, meanwhile, who earlier in the trial had tried to blame an itchy neck on giving the throat-slash sign toward a witness, said he thought he was the only one in the courtroom who didn’t recognize Kevin Jonas. It’s OK, Manuel, he’s not that important.
Kevin Jonas did go on to put on a show in Buenos Aires. Here’s proof in YouTube form. But maybe we should call in Taylor Hanson to confirm it took place.