Swiss prosecutor Michael Lauber convicted of violating his homework

Swiss prosecutor Michael Lauber and US justice minister Loretta Lynch in September 2015.
Swiss prosecutor Michael Lauber and American justice minister Loretta Lynch in September 2015. FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP

The release of the Supervisory Authority of the Public Prosecutor's Office of the Swiss Confederation (AS-MPC) could leave traces. On Wednesday March 4, the supervisory body of the Swiss public prosecutor's office issued its conclusions following the disciplinary investigation which has been targeting, since May 2019, the Attorney General Michael Lauber. In charge of the procedures related to the corruption scandals at the International Football Federation (FIFA) since March 2015, the boss of the MPC was found guilty “ for having violated several duties of office " by meeting informally and three times with the president of FIFA (civil party in these proceedings), Gianni Infantino, in 2016 and 2017.

"On several occasions, Mr. Lauber did not speak the truth, acted unfairly, violated the MPC Code of Conduct and obstructed the investigation of the AS-MPC, said the Supervisory Authority in its press release. In addition, the Attorney General does not see how his actions are problematic and demonstrates a misunderstanding of his profession. "

The AS-MPC inflicted on Mr. Lauber an annual salary reduction (300,000 Swiss francs) of 8% for a period of one year " as a disciplinary sanction. »Re-elected in September 2019 for a third four-year term, the prosecutor has thirty days to appeal to the Swiss Federal Administrative Court. He is defended by lawyer Lorenz Erni, one of his clients … ex-FIFA president Sepp Blatter, who has been the subject of MPC criminal proceedings since 2015.

The three secret meetings with Gianni Infantino

Mr. Lauber was the subject of a preliminary investigation for failing to mention, in November 2018, a secret meeting, which took place in June 2017, with Gianni Infantino, during a hearing by the AS- MPC. " The Attorney General has repeatedly told the AS-MPC, Parliament and the public the truth about his June 16, 2017 meeting with FIFA President Gianni Infantino ", specifies the Supervisory Authority, while this meeting in June 2017 was organized at the Hotel Schweizerhof in Bern, where the Ambassador of Qatar lodges year-round in Switzerland.

This meeting followed two other interviews, which were revealed by the “Football Leaks” in November 2018. At the request of FIFA, the first meeting took place on March 22, 2016, five days after the opening of criminal proceedings against Jérôme Valcke, ex-French number 2 of FIFA (2007-2015) and under investigation.

A childhood friend of Mr. Infantino and first prosecutor for Haut-Valais, Rinaldo Arnold organized this first meeting and was also present at the third meeting in June 2017. On April 22, 2016, a second meeting between MM. Infantino and Lauber took place in Zurich. In addition to the head of the economic crime division of the Swiss public prosecutor's office, Olivier Thormann (suspended by the MPC before leaving his post in November 2018), Marco Villiger, then FIFA legal director, also attended this meeting.

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"The attorney general neglected to report his three proven meetings with FIFA president Gianni Infantino Notes the AS-MPC, which supports its sanction in a 48-page report.

Targeting Mr. Arnold, the Supervisory Authority observes "That a third person was present during the meetings of March 22, 2016 and June 16, 2017 between the Attorney General and the President of FIFA. Procedural matters were raised on these occasions, creating a risk of breach of professional secrecy. "

While noting that Mr. Lauber was involved " in a manner unsuitable for its function in FIFA procedures ", AS-MPC accuses it of having "Hindered »The disciplinary proceedings against him, by authorizing "Subordinate" to testify unlawfully and by his "Refusal to provide documents" to investigators. He also "Personally ordered the assumption of the costs of its own defenders by the MPC. "

“Unfair behavior” and “false statements”

Scratched for his " unfair behavior "," his false statements "And" serious breaches "To his obligations by the AS-MPC, Mr. Lauber had been seized, like prosecutors Olivier Thormann and Markus Nyffenegger, of the procedures in connection with FIFA, in June 2019, by the Swiss Federal Criminal Court. Of them recusal requests were issued in November 2018 by Mr. Valcke and his ex-chief financial officer, Markus Kattner.

Saturday 29 February, the Swiss newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung announced the closure by the MPC of the criminal proceedings for "unfair management" against Mr. Valcke and Mr. Kattner. According to our information, this invalidated procedure notably aimed at a transfer of 10 million dollars made by FIFA, in 2008 and at the request of the South African government for " helping the African diaspora in the Caribbean », On accounts managed by the Trinidadian Jack Warner, indicted by the American justice for corruption.

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In this case, the invalidation of the proceedings, frozen since April 2019, against Mr. Valcke and his ex-right-hand man, is the direct consequence of the challenge of Attorney General Michael Lauber.


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