Swiss judiciary nominates two special prosecutors to re-start Infantino criminal probe

November 26 – The Swiss criminal investigation into FIFA president Gianni Infantino and his involvement with disgraced former federal prosecutor Michael Lauber looks set to resume, this time with two special prosecutors rather than one.

In May, FIFA succeeded in its bid to have special prosecutor Stefan Keller removed from the investigation, arguing that he had extended his investigation beyond his remit and that he had issued “malicious and defamatory” press releases that showed “extreme bias”.

The Swiss Judicial Commission has recommended that the investigation is now handed to two retired public prosecutors, Ulrich Weder and Hans Maurer, who are familiar with the FIFA case.

The judicial commission said that two prosecutors will provide more efficient management of the case and will, of course, provide greater oversight and integrity to the investigation. It is a case that strikes right at the heart of the integrity and credibility of the Swiss legal system.

Parliament will be asked to vote on the appointment of the two prosecutors at the United Federal Assembly scheduled for December 15.

The criminal complaint against Infantino refers to undocumented meetings between the FIFA boss and Switzerland’s former attorney general Michael Lauber in 2016 and 2017.

The suspicion is that Infantino was seeking information on investigations into FIFA and its former executives, potentially with the intention to influence the course of those investigations.

Lauber is suspected of abuse of office, violation of official secrecy and favouritism.

After much criticism and a seeming ambivalence towards the allegations of corruption that constantly swirl around FIFA’s leaders, the Swiss judiciary has shown recently that it does have an appetite for going after the organisation and its ways of doing business that in many cases look to have been legitimised by the country.

Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter and former UEFA president Michel Platini are currently awaiting a date to go before a Swiss court to decide their case concerning the CHF2 million ‘disloyal payment’ made by FIFA to Platini in 2010.

Not to have progressed with the criminal investigation in Infantino and Lauber would have smacked of judicial bias and selective management of the investigation of criminal cases.

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