procedural battle between FIFA and prosecutor Keller

Gianni Infantino, September 14.

The criminal investigation carried out in Switzerland against the president of the International Football Federation (FIFA), Gianni Infantino, and the former Swiss prosecutor Michael Lauber turns into a confrontation between the world body and the magistrate in charge of the procedure. Just installed at the post of extraordinary prosecutor of the Swiss Confederation by the Swiss Parliament on September 23, the lawyer Stefan Keller formalized an important decision in the context of the proceedings he is leading against MM. Infantino and Lauber. An investigation that targets the secret meetings (without supporting minutes) that the two men held in 2016 and 2017.

These informal meetings fuel suspicions of collusion of interests while Mr. Lauber was in charge, from 2015 to 2019, of the twenty investigations carried out by the Public Prosecutor of the Swiss Confederation (MPC) against former officials of FIFA.

On October 8, Mr. Keller announced in a statement that he was excluding, “Until further notice”, FIFA and its lawyers responsible for the ongoing criminal investigation. According to the magistrate, FIFA does not “Fulfills none” of “Conditions” legal to be recognized “The status of participant in the above-mentioned procedure”.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also Court case against Infantino comes to FIFA Congress

Mr. Infantino’s lawyer on the front line

In other words, FIFA and its lawyers will not be able to have access to the criminal file, to attend hearings, or to request investigative measures. “To be an interested party in the proceedings, you need a legal interest and not only a personal or economic interest, but FIFA believes that it has indeed a significant damage in this matter. Certainly, FIFA has suffered serious damage, its reputation is damaged, the value of its contracts may fall but it cannot be accused, hence the decision [de M. Keller] “, developed Me Marc Henzelin, one of the FIFA lawyers.

“This decision does not pose a fundamental problem insofar as the parties have the right to communicate with third parties, he continues. However, the interests of FIFA and its president completely converge in that FIFA considers that Mr. Infantino has only done his duty. FIFA will therefore continue to fully support Mr. Infantino. “

Mr. Infantino’s personal lawyer, Me David Zollinger, is now on the front line. In practice, he may transmit the elements of the procedure to FIFA councils. Contacted, Me Zollinger did not wish “Comment on the survey in general”.

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