SPORTS LAW AT THE CROSSROADS

Former FIFA boss Linsi loses appeal to seal docs seized in Germany 2006 probe

Urs Linsi

December 21 – Former FIFA General Secretary Urs Linsi is back in the spotlight after a Swiss Federal Court ruled against his complaint that a house search by police investigators was conducted illegally and that documents taken should be returned.

The criminal investigations by the Swiss surround the awarding of the 2006 World Cup to Germany and Linsi’s role in the movement of a £6.7 million payment made by the German FA (DFB) to the late Adidas chief executive Robert Louis-Dreyfus.

In 2016, a report commissioned by the DFB into alleged irregularities surrounding the bid said the sum was the return of a loan via FIFA from Louis-Dreyfus. But it noted the DFB had earmarked the payment as a contribution to a World Cup gala which never took place. The money is suspected to have been used as a slush fund to buy votes for the German hosting bid.

The Swiss investigators accuse Linsi of being part of a conspiracy that led to unfair business dealings or fraud, embezzlement and money laundering.

Raids at the end of November 2016, by federal investigators, were carried out at Linsi’s residential and commercial premises. Linzi requested that the seized material was sealed.

In March the compulsory measures court in Bern ruled that some of the documents siezed could be examined by the investigators but rejected the request that all documents were unsealed.

Linsi immediately lodged a complaint with the Federal Supreme Court demanding the repeal of the decision and the return of the material. That complaint failed and, two years later, the investigators will see the documentation.

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