Red-faced Swiss justice told to pick up $900k of costs in Germany 2006 bribery case

May 25 – Former DFB strongmen Theo Zwanziger, Wolfgang Niersbach and Horst Schmidt as well as former FIFA general secretary Urs Linsi have received compensation following the collapse of their fraud trial last year.

The four men were on trial for the Sommermarchen scandal, which revealed that bribes were paid to secure Germany the right to host the 2006 World Cup, but they escaped the arm of Swiss justice when their trial was abandoned because of a statute of limitations on the charges. The Covid-19 crisis created further scheduling problems.

The money was allegedly channelled via a secret account into which the head of sportswear manufacturer Adidas Robert Louis-Dreyfus, a friend of Franz Beckenbauer, paid CHF 10.3 million. The German football association (DFB)  always denied the allegation, but acknowledged the existence of an unexplained payment of €6.7 million to FIFA.

However, the former football officials have now received compensation.

In its judgment, the Court of Criminal Affairs awarded each of Schmidt, Niersbach and Linsi CHF 210,300, CHF 230,680 and CHF 256,000, respectively for their defence costs. Zwanziger, was awarded CHF 5,452 francs. His lawyer received CHF 207,700 directly from state funds. The four will receive CHF 15,000 in compensation.

The court made no awards to either the DFB or FIFA.

Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1634566351labto1634566351ofdlr1634566351owedi1634566351sni@o1634566351fni1634566351