ZURICH – The Swiss high court rejected Attorney General Michael Lauber’s offer to rejoin a corruption investigation in football, refusing to overturn a lower court ruling that his closed meeting with FIFA’s head had increased the impression of bias.
In a ruling issued on Thursday, the Federal Court upheld a Federal Criminal Court order in June that Lauber resigned from a federal prosecutor’s investigation.
Lauber has denied any wrongdoing and said “conspiracy theories” over his meeting with FIFA President Gianni Infantino and the perceived dishonesty damaged the integrity of the prosecutor’s office.
Lauber has investigated several suspected corruption cases involving FIFA, based in Zurich, since 2014 and the presidency of Sepp Blatter. The probe treats FIFA as a victim rather than a suspect.
Lauber has admitted two meetings with Infantino in 2016, saying they were intended to help coordinate the investigation. He later acknowledged the third meeting in 2017 after media reports about the meeting appeared.
Lauber received his salary deduction for a year after the supervisor was found last month, he repeatedly told the wrong person and violated the prosecutor’s code of conduct in handling the investigation.
A fraudulent trial of three former senior German soccer officials and one Swiss for alleged payments related to the 2006 World Cup organized by Germany has begun, but sees a threshold of destruction amid trials mandated by the corona virus which were terminated as a statute of limitations on the tool weaving. .
Separately, organizers of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar strongly denied allegations from the US Department of Justice that bribes were paid to get votes for the right to administer the tournament.
Suspicions and rumors have long surrounded the 2010 vote by FIFA executives to hand over the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 tournament to Qatar.
(Reporting by Michael Shields; editing by Nick Macfie)