Rare win for Swiss prosecutors as court rules they can still proceed in Al-Khelaifi case

April 23 – beIN Sports boss and Paris St Germain supremo Nasser al-Khelaifi has failed in a bid to have three prosecutors recused from a case against him in Switzerland that is part of a wider bribery investigation of FIFA.

Al-Khelaïfi filed the complaint days after he was questioned in December and two months before he was charged in February with inciting FIFA’s former number two Jerome Valcke to commit aggravated criminal mismanagement.

The recusal request claimed Al-Khelaïfi was not given ample time under questioning to address all the points he wanted to cover in response. Al-Khelaïfi’s lawyer said he was informed only three days later that he would be charged, adding prosecutors had “total disinterest” in hearing a full account of his defence.

The Swiss federal criminal court published a ruling on Wednesday which dismissed Al-Khelaifi’s complaint and ordered him to pay CHF 2,000.

Though Swiss prosecutors won the latest procedural ruling it is has become something of a rare win for the Attorney General’s office that continues to be mired in controversy and integrity questions over their football investigations, not least the relationship and secret undocumented meetings between FIFA president Gianni Infantino and Swiss AG Michael Lauber.

Al-Khelaifi, a member of the UEFA executive committee, saw another case against him fail in February when all charges of bribery in connection with the acquisition of 2026 and 2030 World Cup broadcast rights were dropped.

While Al-Khelaifi might not have had the prosecutors recused at this stage, whether the case has the integrity of investigation to still make it to court remains to be seen.

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