March 17 – Former UEFA president Michel Platini spent six hours in front of a Swiss prosecutor as a suspect on Monday – but today was due to appear as a witness in a separate case against his nemesis, FIFA president Gianni Infantino.
Platini was questioned in Bern by prosecutor Thomas Hildbrand, again over that infamous CHF2 million ‘disloyalty payment’ that shattered his dream of taking over FIFA after the fall of Sepp Blatter.
FIFA banned both men at the end of 2015 and Swiss prosecutors responded by opening their own case. Platini and Blatter both face accusations of “disloyal management”, “breach of trust” and “fraud”.
Platini has long pointed to a conspiracy to stop him from gaining the FIFA presidency, which went instead to Infantino. The question for many is how far Infantino was instrumental in bringing the case against Platini.
“Michel Platini was attentive to the presentation of the elements of the case and to the interpretations presented by the prosecutor Hildbrand,” Platini’s ‘entourage’ told AFP.
“He remains very confident that this procedure will allow him to prove his integrity in this case.”
According to the prosecution, it was Platini’s final hearing before the end of the investigation. Reports say he will either be exonerated or face trial.
Blatter, who turned 85 last week, is also due to face the prosecutor but is still convalescing after being hospitalised in December and January after major surgery.
Meanwhile, Platini was due to appear as a witness today in a Swiss investigation into Infantino’s conduct.
Infantino last year became the target of a criminal investigation over three undocumented meetings in 2016 and 2017 with former Swiss attorney general Michael Lauber, an affair that continues to drag on despite Lauber losing his position and Infantino insisting he is innocent of any wrongdoing and ridiculing the entire process.
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