Former FIFA number 2, Jerome Valcke, counter-attack in European court

Jérôme Valcke, in 2014. SERGIO MORAES / REUTERS

Two years after the request of his compatriot Michel Platini, Jérôme Valcke also filed, on November 2, an appeal before the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg to challenge its suspension of ten years decided in 2016 , by the disciplinary bodies of the International Football Federation (FIFA).

According to information from World, the former French Secretary General of FIFA (2007-2015) wanted to seize the ECHR to bring "his" case out of Switzerland, where he exhausted all the remedies against his sanction.

Mr. Valcke was dismissed from his duties in September 2015 after alleged embezzlement by former Israeli footballer Benny Alon at the 2014 FIFA World Cup ticket office in Brazil. chapters of the FIFA Code of Ethics. He was prosecuted for " conflicts of interest " and to have "Accepted and distributed gifts and other benefits".

A long list of grievances

The list of FIFA grievances is long. He is accused, among other things, of having tried to sell the TV rights of the Worlds 2018 and 2022 during his negotiations with the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) in March 2011, ahead of the re-election of the former FIFA President Sepp Blatter.

He was also punished for using private jets with his relatives, as during a trip to the Taj Mahal in 2012. The name of his son, employee of the US company EON, also appears in a contract of 709 000 dollars (€ 605,000) between FIFA and said company.

Read also FIFA: accused of abusing private jets, Jerome Valcke says he followed "the internal rules"

On 27 July 2018, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) of Lausanne dismissed Mr Valcke's appeal. The latter was also dismissed in May by the Swiss Federal Court.

Read also FIFA: Court of Arbitration for Sport confirms suspension of Jérôme Valcke

" The goal, in the spirit of Jérôme Valcke, is to move towards a kind of rehabilitation. A number of fundamental rights have been violated. A conviction of Switzerland would mean a revision of the procedure and decision of the Swiss Federal Court "Says Stéphane Ceccaldi, the lawyer mandated by Mr. Valcke to file his appeal before the ECHR.

"Risks of collusion" between FIFA and the Swiss Public Prosecution

While the French is the subject of several criminal proceedings opened in 2016 and 2017 by the Public Prosecutor's Office of the Swiss Confederation (MPC) on suspicion of embezzlement and "passive bribery", FIFA has also sanctioned Mr. Valcke to have " refused to cooperate With his ethics committee and destroys many documents » in the fall of 2015.

Read also FIFA: criminal case against former number 2 Valcke and PSG president Al-Khelaïfi

In his appeal, Mr Ceccaldi pointed out that the FIFA Ethics Committee had most of the correspondence and content of Mr Valcke's e-mail box before the formal opening of the MPC's investigation in November. 2015.

The defenders of the Parisian could not make this finding after having had access to several significant pieces of criminal record, November 15, 2018 is more … three years after the opening of the investigation of the Swiss prosecutor.

In a letter to FIFA from 20 September 2015, the Swiss prosecutor Olivier Thormann (exfiltrated in November 2018 by the MPC because of his supposed proximity to the FIFA's legal director, Marco Villiger) confirmed that he had read the report. internal investigation of the Federation and alerted the authority to " the risks of collusion (to these exchanges) may jeopardize the criminal procedure. "

In a letter of 22 September 2015, the Zurich lawyer Daniel Eisele, told the prosecutors Olivier Thormann and Cedrid Remund that the ethics committee of the Federation, in charge of the internal investigation against Mr. Valcke, " would be made aware To these risks.

In a letter of September 24, 2015, Mr. Eisele sent the contents of Mr. Valcke's e-mail boxes to the Swiss prosecutor's office, while referring to previous telephone contacts with the MPC.

According to these documents, which are very late in the criminal file of his client, Mr Ceccaldi considers that Article 6.1 ("the right to remain silent and not to participate in self-incrimination") of the European Convention on the Rights of the man on the right to fair trial has been violated. " He was ordered to cooperate while FIFA already had all the pieces ", Denounces Mr Valcke's lawyer.

"Sanctions exceed all standards"

In particular, Ceccaldi considers that Articles 6.2 ("right of presumption of innocence"), 7 ("principle of non-retroactivity of penalties") and 13 ("right to an effective remedy") were also flouted. Lastly, he pointed out the non-respect of Article 8, which protected the freedom to pursue a professional activity.

" Can we condemn Valcke, who had a very protective employment contract as an employee, to penalties that do not exist in Swiss labor law? Sanctions exceed all standards. Ten years of prohibition from work and a fine of 100,000 Swiss francs, it is unparalleled ", Me Ceccaldi develops while his client – recipient of 42,000 Swiss francs (36,000 euros) in the" balance of pay "- was fired" with immediate effect "by FIFA in January 2016.

What analogy can be made between the appeal of Michel Platini, whose four-year suspension ended on October 8, and that of Mr. Valcke? " In both cases, we have the feeling that we can not expect anything from a court like FIFA's financially dependent CAS., observes Me Ceccaldi. And the Swiss Federal Tribunal is complying with arbitrariness and refuses to sanction CAS arbitrations. If Platini leads a political fight and points the instrumentalization of the Ethics Committee of FIFA, Valcke claims that FIFA has loaded the boat. In general, there is a structural injustice as soon as FIFA gets involved. "

The ECHR should not deliver its verdict for several years.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also End of the suspension of Michel Platini: how the French was the big loser of a threesome in the FIFA


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