6th May 2021

Kellar removed from investigating Infantino’s meetings with Lauber

The Swiss Federal Criminal Court has removed Stefan Keller as the Extraordinary Public Prosecutor appointed to investigate criminal charges relating to meetings between Gianni Infantino, President of FIFA, and Michael Lauber, the country’s former Federal Prosecutor. On 10 December last year, Kellar issued a press release stating that he had investigated Infantino’s use of a private jet despite it not being part of his mandate, and had forwarded the results of his investigation to the Federal Prosecutor’s Office. 

On 14 December, Infantino filed a complaint alleging that because this compromised Kellar’s impartiality regarding his investigation into him, all the evidence he had accumulated should be struck from the record. The Swiss Federal Criminal Court disagreed with this, but accepted that as a result of the press release as well as subsequent releases on 10 February, 8 and 11 March and due to an article in a legal journal, Kellar’s impartiality had been compromised. It removed him from the case.

‘The FCC stated that by attempting to look into matters that had nothing to do with his mandate and then publicly raising his own personal suspicions about them without any objective justification, Mr Keller had clearly violated the presumption of innocence and damaged the standing of the FIFA President, contrary to his personal rights protected under the law’, read a statement from FIFA and Infantino welcoming the Decision. ‘The FCC underlined that for a public prosecutor to communicate distorting, injurious, misleading and factually incorrect information, as well as mere polemics and propaganda, is plainly inadmissible’. 

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