Dhe Swiss public prosecutor has opened criminal proceedings against FIFA President Gianni Infantino. It is about secret meetings between the head of the World Football Association and the head of the Federal Prosecutor, Michael Lauber, as the supervisory authority said about the Federal Prosecutor’s Office in Bern on Thursday. A prosecutor, who is also present at the meetings, is also charged.
With this, Infantino is still in need of explanation a year after his re-election as FIFA President. At the beginning of June, the world association rejected all allegations against the 50-year-old. Infantino “has certainly not done anything wrong by meeting Mr. Lauber. It is not an offense to meet the prosecutor and such meetings are not uncommon. Gianni Infantino’s motivation was to offer any support to the Swiss authorities, ”it said at the time.
Criminal proceedings are also to be opened against Lauber. However, he is still in office until the end of January 2021 and is therefore protected against prosecution. The specially appointed public prosecutor therefore asked the parliament to waive his immunity.
“He (the extraordinary public prosecutor) comes to the conclusion that there are indications of criminal behavior in connection with the meetings between Federal Prosecutor Michael Lauber, Fifa President and the Valais Higher Prosecutor,” the supervisory authority said. It is about abuse of office, violation of official secrecy, favoritism and incitement to these facts.
Lauber had resigned after the regulatory authorities had already reprimanded him for the meetings and accused him of violating his official duties and making false statements. He dismissed the allegations. The secret meetings took place in 2016 and 2017, while the federal prosecutor’s office was investigating Fifa for corruption. Among other things, the investigation involves awarding the 2018 World Cup to Russia and Qatar in 2022.