opposition between the police and the Swiss public prosecutor's office on the procedure against Sepp Blatter

Sepp Blatter, April 29, 2016, in Lausanne.
Sepp Blatter, April 29, 2016, in Lausanne. DENIS BALIBOUSE / REUTERS

The criminal proceedings against the former president of the International Football Federation (FIFA), Sepp Blatter, constitute a bone of contention between the prosecution of the Swiss Confederation (MPC) and the Swiss federal police. Wednesday, April 29, the Associated Press agency reported a report for the Swiss police, whose conclusions indicate "Clearly that suspicion (unfair management and breach of trust) of the MPC against Mr. Blatter in 2015 were well founded ".

In this report, that we consulted, the federal police notes that, "Despite the clear evidence and the conclusions of the police reports", the Swiss prosecution has, as The world had revealed it on April 10, announced its intention to close one of the two parts of this procedure.

Read also FIFA: Swiss justice system to partially close proceedings against Sepp Blatter

This investigation concerns the signing, in 2005, by Mr. Blatter of a “Unfavorable contract with FIFA” which granted the television rights of the 2010 and 2014 Worlds to the Caribbean Football Union (UCF), then led by the Trinidadian Jack Warner, suspended for life by the International Federation and charged with corruption by the American justice.

Under criminal proceedings since September 2015, Mr. Blatter learned in March that the prosecution intended to close this investigation when he received a letter from the federal prosecutor, Thomas Hildebrand.

"Interdependent relationship"

Terminated by FIFA in 2011, the contract with the UCF was revealed on September 12, 2015 by the Swiss television channel SRF. In their report, the federal police conclude that " Mr. Blatter acted more for Mr. Warner's interests than those of FIFA, by failing to assert a claim by FIFA against the UCF when he became aware of an illegal sublicense arrangement " set up by Mr. Warner and intended to divert funds.

Federal police blame Mr. Blatter "To have accepted that Mr. Warner therefore illicitly enriches himself at the expense of FIFA" notably by canceling, in 2011, a debt of 3.78 million dollars from the Caribbean Union, to the prejudice of FIFA. Authorities consider the two men to have "Maintained an interdependent relationship until 2011".

"It can be concluded that the Confederation of North America and the Caribbean and Warner had already received a financial advantage in May 1998 to allow Blatter to be elected president of FIFA on June 8, 1998", notes the federal police, which identifies "A number of unexplained payments and special treatment granted to Mr. Warner by FIFA before the 2002 and 2007 FIFA elections".

Hidden War

Contacted by The world, Mr. Blatter declined to comment, indicating that he had only been questioned once, in September 2015, since the initiation of the criminal proceedings. His lawyer, Me Lorenz Erni, didn't want to react. Just like the Swiss parquet.

A few hours after the publication of the AP dispatch revealing the content of the Swiss police report, FIFA contacted several media to relay the existence of this prosecution document. These "Laborers", denounced by Mr. Blatter, are explained by the hidden war between the octogenarian and his successor, Gianni Infantino, elected in 2016.

Mr. Infantino has been weakened since The Geneva Tribune revealed on Monday April 27 that he wanted to "Get rid of an investigation that threatened him personally" by meeting informally in 2016 with the Swiss Attorney General, Michael Lauber.

Read also FIFA: Gianni Infantino suspected of having been laundered by the Swiss public prosecutor's office

The case of the three unofficial meetings (without supporting minutes), in 2016 and 2017, between the President of FIFA (civil party in the proceedings) and Mr. Lauber is worth to the boss of the Swiss public prosecutor's office be under threat of a revocation request, currently being prepared by the judicial committee of the federal chambers.

In this context, the publication of the federal police report targeting Mr. Blatter puts more pressure on the Swiss prosecution, while The Geneva Tribune accused several prosecutors responsible for FIFA-related investigations of having had many direct and informal exchanges with the world football body.

Read also Swiss prosecutor denies secret meeting with FIFA president


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