"Infantino shoots himself in the legs by attacking Swiss justice"

Former FIFA President Sepp Blatter in May 2019 in Zurich.
Former FIFA President Sepp Blatter in May 2019 in Zurich. FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP

The legal war continues between the International Football Federation (FIFA), led since 2016 by Gianni Infantino, and its ex-president Sepp Blatter, 84. The investigation of the Public Prosecutor's Office of the Swiss Confederation targeting the former boss of football for the signing, in 2005, of a controversial contract granting television rights to the Caribbean Football Union (UCF) is now at the center of this confrontation.

As she indicated to World, May 2, FIFA filed formal requests with the Swiss public prosecutor's office to plead that this part of the criminal proceedings opened by the MPC, in September 2015, against its former president is not classified by the prosecutor in charge of the file , Thomas Hildebrand. April 10, The world had revealed that the Swiss public prosecutor's office had announced in March, by mail, to Mr. Blatter his will to close this open investigation for "suspicions of unfair management and breach of trust".

"Complainant and injured party" in these proceedings, as it specifies, the FIFA of Gianni Infantino deposited this request – which formally requests the MPC to relaunch the investigation and to hear other witnesses – after the Associated Press agency reported, the April 29, a report from the Swiss police, whose conclusions indicate "Clearly the suspicions (of disloyal management and breach of trust) of the MPC against Mr. Blatter in 2015 were well founded".

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“The parties may at any time submit requests to the direction of the procedure. The decisions taken within the framework of the criminal procedure rest exclusively with the direction of the procedure ”reminds the MPC, while the prosecutor Hildebrand had access to the police report before announcing his intention to close the investigation.

FIFA may appeal after dispatch of classification order

"We are certain, with my lawyer, that the prosecutor will not change his verdict, declare to World Sepp Blatter. If FIFA wants to appeal to the Federal Criminal Court, it must wait for the final, formal prosecutor's decision to do so. You can't say like that: "Continue the investigation". "

According to the Swiss Code of Criminal Procedure, "The parties may appeal the classification order within ten days to the appeal authority. " However, according to the Swiss newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung, this part of the proceedings against Mr. Blatter will be automatically closed in September due to the limitation period. "The prescription that applies to this contract is for September", confirms the octogenarian.

The conflict between Mr. Blatter and Mr. Infantino peaks as the latter is weakened by his informal meetings (without supporting minutes), in 2016 and 2017, with Attorney General Michael Lauber. Which has as lawyer Mr. Lorenz Erni, who also defends … Mr. Blatter.

On May 13, the Federal Assembly’s Judicial Committee will examine whether the conditions are in place to initiate a dismissal procedure for Mr. Lauber. In March, the latter was convicted of violating his duties of office by the Supervisory Authority of the Swiss Prosecutor's Office.

Read also FIFA: Swiss prosecution weakened by suspicions of collusion

"This situation jeopardizes the credibility of the prosecution"

"The public revelations and the report of the supervisory authority more than seriously question the skills of Mr. Lauber, ensures Léonore Porchet, national councilor (Les Verts, Canton de Vaud) and member of the judicial commission. Worse still, this situation jeopardizes the credibility of the Federal Prosecutor's Office, which Parliament cannot accept. We have waited long enough. "

For Mr. Blatter, "FIFA made a big mistake in trying to reopen "The investigation targeting him. " Mr. Infantino is mad and he shoots himself in the legs by attacking Swiss justice and by putting himself at the back Mr. Attorney General Lauber, he believes. When Mr. Lauber will tell the truth about what happened (during informal meetings), Infantino will be able to pack its suitcase. "

Supporting confidential documents and emails, the Swiss daily The Tribune de Genève assured, Monday, April 27, that Gianni Infantino, wanted "Get rid of an investigation that threatened him personally" by meeting informally in April 2016 with the prosecutor Lauber. "Mr. Infantino was never targeted by any investigation or proceeding at that time or thereafter, replied FIFA. As such, there was no need for him to "clear his name" ".

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The first prosecutor of Haut-Valais, Rinaldo Arnold, participated in two of the three meetings between Mr. Lauber and Mr. Infantino. A childhood friend of the latter, Mr. Arnold served as an intermediary for the boss of FIFA. "I met Mr. Arnold last year at a football party in Brig (Valais), we talked a little about football, and we saw each other in Januarysays Blatter. The last time, Mr. Arnold said nothing more. This affair did not make him du well. Contacted, Mr. Arnold has yet to act.


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