Criminal proceedings initiated in Switzerland against FIFA chief Infantino

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Zurich, July 30 (IANS) A Swiss special prosecutor has initiated a criminal case against FIFA President Gianni Infantino over his dealings with Swiss Attorney General Michael Lauber. Authorities in Switzerland said on Thursday that prosecutors have found indications of criminal conduct in relation to the meetings between the pair.

Last week, a court had found that Lauber, while investigating corruption cases related to FIFA, had tried to hide a meeting with Infantino and lied to his supervisors in the Swiss judiciary. He subsequently offered his resignation and is set to leave the post in August.

“This concerns abuse of public office, breach of official secrecy, assisting offenders and incitement to these acts,” said the AB-BA, the authority overseeing Switzerland’s Federal prosecutors, in a statement.

Infantino had earlier denied any wrongdoing. “For a long time I have not spoken about this because the whole thing is absurd,” Infantino told reporters at the FIFA Council Meeting in June. “Let me clarify once and for all. To meet the chief prosecutor of Switzerland is perfectly legitimate and perfectly legal. It’s no violation of anything. On the contrary, it’s also part of the fiduciary duties of the President of FIFA.

“It’s totally legitimate [for FIFA] to offer to contribute… hoping that those who have done criminal acts will be held to account,” Infantino continued.

“What bothers me a bit is the wording about secret meetings. There is nothing secret in meeting a prosecutor in a civilized country. We are happy to be cooperating with the Swiss authorities as we do with authorities all the world.”

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