(Geneva) Swiss justice on Thursday launched criminal proceedings against FIFA President Gianni Infantino.
It was the extraordinary Swiss prosecutor, Stefan Keller, who opened the criminal proceedings, in connection with a meeting that Infantino had with the Swiss public prosecutor, Michael Lauber.
Keller has concluded an investigation initiated by two complaints involving Infantino and Lauber. There he discovered "elements of reprehensible behavior".
Lauber tendered his resignation last week.
In addition to Infantino, criminal proceedings have been launched against the district attorney of Valais, Rinaldo Arnold. Keller also wants Lauber's immunity to be lifted so that he can initiate court proceedings against him, according to a statement from the Swiss authorities overseeing the Federal Prosecutor's Office.
Keller, a forensic expert appointed to the post of extraordinary prosecutor on June 29, uncovered possible cases of abuse of power, contravention of official secrets laws, obstruction of criminal proceedings and incitement to commit these offenses , continues the press release. It is not excluded that other charges will be filed.
Suspects benefit from the presumption of innocence until the case is resolved in Switzerland.
FIFA declined to comment.
Lauber offered his resignation on Friday, just minutes before a federal court upholds allegations of lies about a meeting he had with Infantino during the broad international football corruption investigation. The court ruling followed the filing of an appeal by Lauber, sanctioned in March for misconduct.
The internal proceedings against Lauber focused mainly on a meeting with Infantino held in June 2017 at a hotel in Bern, during which the prosecutor took no notes. The two later claimed not to remember the content of their discussions that day, their third meeting in a 15-month period.
“Generally speaking, such a case of collective amnesia is an aberration,” the court said in its judgment last week.
Lauber is therefore on the verge of joining ex-FIFA president Sepp Blatter and ex-UEFA president Michel Platini as top executives who lost their jobs in Switzerland due to this corruption investigation. started in November 2014.
Infantino was elected head of FIFA in 2016 and got a second term in 2019.