On Thursday, a Swiss public prosecutor revealed “evidence” indicating that FIFA president Gianni Infantino was guilty of “mismanagement” by taking a trip on a private plane bearing the cost of the association.
This new accusation, which is not subject to the official investigation, is added to the judicial action taken against the Swiss on July 30th for “misuse of public office, breaching official secrecy, aiding violators and inciting these acts.”
The public prosecutor said, in a statement, that “based on investigations conducted” regarding a private plane flight between Suriname and Switzerland dating back to 2017, “(Special Prosecutor) Stefan Keeler believes that a criminal investigation of mismanagement should be opened.”
But the judge “has no competence to open a similar investigation,” and therefore has sent his findings to the Swiss Federal Prosecutor’s Office.
Keeler, who is the chief justice of the Obwaldon region in the center of the country, was appointed a “special prosecutor” in early July to investigate suspected collusion between FIFA and the outgoing attorney general, Michael Lauber.
In a statement, the Swiss judiciary announced at the time that Keeler had “concluded that there were indications of criminal behavior” surrounding the meetings between Infantino, Lauber, and Reynaldo Arnold, the childhood friend of the FIFA president, who became the first attorney general for the Ho-Valais region.
Infantino did not deny that the meetings took place, and to this day, continues to defend his actions.
FIFA responded strongly to the new accusation, supporting Infantino, saying, Thursday, that “this press release (by Stefan Keeler) is malicious and defamatory and at the same time shows its extreme bias.”
The federation added that “the methods of (the exceptional prosecutor) Stefan Keeler of accusation and bias by issuing press statements without justification may amount to defamation, rejected in the strongest terms by FIFA and its president,” noting that the federation and its president will take all necessary legal measures “to put an end to these baseless accusations.” Her which betrays bad faith. ”
Infantino was elected president in early 2016, weeks after resounding corruption scandals revealed that toppled major heads of the Zurich-based federation, led by his predecessor and compatriot Joseph Blatter, and the former president of the European Union for the “Wife” game, the French, Michel Platini.
A parliamentary committee opened a procedure on removing Uber last May, against the background of suspected collusion with Infantino over informal meetings between them.
Uber pre-empted the summary of the procedure by announcing last week that he had submitted his resignation from his post after a prolonged debate over the way he dealt with the investigations of the corruption scandal in the International Federation, which was known as “Vivgate” after he was excluded last year from this investigation.