FIFAgate – Prosecutor general threatened with dismissal

The “Fifagate” invites himself to Parliament: the Attorney General Michael Lauber, suspected of collusion with Gianni Infantino, after a series of informal meetings, is heard on Wednesday.

Prosecutor under pressure

KEYSTONE

From 1:30 p.m. and behind closed doors, because “the debates of the parliamentary bodies are confidential”, one specifies in the Parliament, Mr. Lauber will have to explain himself before the members of the judicial commission of the Federal Assembly. The latter “should then take the decision whether or not to initiate a revocation procedure”.

According to a report by the Supervisory Authority of the Public Prosecutor’s Office (AS-MPC), the 54-year-old Swiss high judge in charge of the procedures related to the corruption scandals at the International Football Federation (Fifa) since March 2015, “contravened several duties of office” by meeting, informally and three times, Mr. Infantino, in 2016 and 2017. “Several times, Mr. Lauber did not tell the truth, acted unfairly, violated the MPC Code of Conduct and obstructed the investigation of the AS-MPC ”, argued the supervisory authority.

“Problematic” actions

In addition, according to AS-MPC, the Attorney General “does not see how his actions are problematic and shows a poor understanding of his profession”. Until then, Mr. Lauber was sanctioned in early March with an 8% reduction in his salary, a sanction he challenged before the Federal Administrative Court.

This time, he risks outright dismissal, an exceptional measure which can only intervene in two cases: if he has committed a serious violation of his duties of office intentionally or by gross negligence, or if he does not is more capable of exercising its function over the long term. For the deputy Matthias Aebischer (Swiss Socialist Party), member of the judicial commission and favorable to the opening of a dismissal procedure, “we should not wait any longer”.

“Banana Republic”

“We are learning new elements every day that give Switzerland the image of a banana republic. It is bad for all institutions, ”said the parliamentarian in the Swiss press. In total, more than twenty procedures opened for five years in Switzerland have still not found an epilogue.

Fifa has never denied the meetings between MM. Infantino and Lauber, explaining that they were intended to show that the international federation, which has the status of complainant in certain procedures, was “ready to collaborate with Swiss justice”. But the legal vagueness in which these meetings took place raises the question of a potential collusion between Fifa and the justice system.

“The fundamental principles of the rule of law are thrown overboard”, defended for his part Mr. Lauber, in his appeal to the Administrative Court at the end of April, and revealed on Saturday by the Swiss newspapers of the Tamedia group. The magistrate accuses the members of the judicial commission of having been “biased” and of demonstrating “a bias” against him. The reproaches of the AS-MPC are marked by “speculation, speculation and a constant disregard of all the real facts and extenuating circumstances”, he defends himself.

Posted today at 2:10 p.m.

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