News 24th April 2020

Net closes around FIFA meetings with Swiss prosecutors

Swiss public prosecutor Cédric Remund has claimed that absence from the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) and authorship of an academic paper is proof that he was not the fifth person at a 16 June 2017 meeting between FIFA President Gianni Infantino and Swiss prosecutors, reports the Süddeutsche Zeitung. The meeting, at the Hotel Schweizerhof in Bern, is understood to have involved five people – Infantino, Swiss Attorney General Michael Lauber, his spokesperson André Marty and Rinaldo Arnold, a Senior Prosecutor for Haut-Valais. It is understood Remund was in charge of investigations into Germany’s hosting of the 2006 FIFA World Cup as well as a suspicious TV rights contract between UEFA and two Argentinean businessmen, signed by Infantino in 2006. Both investigations were ongoing in 2017, when the meeting took place.

In March, a Report (PDF below – click to open in a new window) from the Authority of Surveillance of the Public Ministry of the Confederation (AS-MPC), which oversees the OAG, confirmed that the meeting had taken place, Lauber had participated, and had failed to report it. ‘The Attorney General deliberately and knowingly did not tell the truth about the 16 June 2017 meeting with the President of FIFA’, read the Report. In November 2018, the Swiss canton of Haut-Valais appointed a special prosecutor to investigate whether Arnold had accepted a number of gifts from Infantino in return for arranging informal meetings between Infantino and Lauber. The Football Leaks project had reported that Arnold had informally collected information for Infantino on investigations by the public prosecutor’s office (Bundesanwaltschaft) into corruption at FIFA. 

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