KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS: A special prosecutor has been appointed by the Swiss authorities to assess legal complaints lodged last month against Attorney-General Michael Lauber and his dealings with FIFA president Gianni Infantino.
A statement said that Stefan Keller will “examine the criminal complaints against federal prosecutor Michael Lauber, Gianni Infantino and other persons.” Keller’s duties will be restricted to only these incidencies and not to any other issues concerning either Lauber or the head of the world football federation.
Lauber’s continuance as Attorney-General was cast into doubt after he failed to remember at last two of his five reported meetings with Infantino in recent years to consider ongoing investigations.
The appointment of Keller may be considered an example of the cases being thrown into the long grass.
The statement explained: “If the federal prosecutor considers the criminal complaints to be unfounded, he is authorized to issue a non-handling order in accordance with the relevant legal provisions.
“If his examination reveals that there are indications of criminal behaviour on the part of Federal Prosecutor Michael Lauber, the Extraordinary Prosecutor submits an application to the competent commissions for the National and State Councils to carry out criminal proceedings.”
So this is only the start of yet another complex inquiry.
Infantino broke his silence on the Lauber-linked controversy after last month’s FIFA Council meeting.
He said: “For a long time I have not spoken about this because the whole thing is absurd. 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 in the hope that those who have done criminal acts will be held to account.”
None of his meetings with Lauber, according to Infantino, were held in secret.
He said: “There is nothing secret in meeting a prosecutor in a civilised country. We are happy to be cooperating with the Swiss authorities as we do with authorities all around the world, including the Deportment of Justice in the United States.”