September 21 – Swiss judicial authorities have reportedly declined to lift the immunity granted to former special prosecutor Stefan Keller, meaning he himself cannot be prosecuted for allegedly revealing confidential information about an investigation linked to FIFA.
According to Swiss reports, a request to lift immunity was filed on August 25 in order to open criminal proceedings. The request was apparently based on the claim that Keller might have breached official secrecy but was turned down by a parliamentary committee, a blow to FIFA in their legal fight against Keller.
Keller was the official in charge of investigating the notorious informal meetings between former Swiss attorney general Michael Lauber and Gianni Infantino as part of an investigation by Lauber’s office into alleged FIFA corruption.
But four months ago Keller quit having already been taken off the case following a ruling by the country’s federal criminal court that his public comments about the case reflected bias against Infantino.
Keller certainly did not go lightly when handing in his resignation, blasting the decision to remove him. In a highly unusual move, he hinted at counter-bias as he savaged the Swiss judicial system, saying he was “unable to continue his investigation due to the personal composition of the Federal Criminal Court”.
Key to his resignation statement was the inference that any investigation into Infantino’s conduct would now be halted in its tracks and run out of time. By contrast, Infantino has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and his legal team have long built a case around questioning Keller’s impartiality.
The irony in this is that the fundamental charge against Infantino, and which was being investigated, is that he potentially interfered with the course of Swiss justice. An argument he has used to remove the prosecutor appointed to investigate him.
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