KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTING —- Under-pressure Michael Lauber has offered his resignation as Switzerland’s Attorney-General with no end in sight to the furore over his handling of, among others, the two dozen criminal investigations focused on and around world football federation FIFA.
Lauber, in a statement, said he had taken his decision “in the interests of the institutions”. He added: “I still reject [allegations of] lying in all form. However, if you don’t believe me, as the federal prosecutor, it will harm the federal prosecutor’s office.”
He acted in response to findings by a judicial supervisory panel which had accused Lauber of falling short of the demands of the role and avoiding telling the truth in relation to meetings with the FIFA president Gianni Infantino,
He had met Infantino several times in 2016 and 2017 without documenting the content of all the discussions.
One meeting in particular, on June 16, 2017, had also been attended bt André Marty, head of Information for the Federal Prosecutor, the Valais Prosecutor Rinaldo Arnold and an unnamed fifth person.
Lauber has also been criticised for his department’s handling of the ‘Summer Fairytale’ trial of former German football federation officials over secret payments in connection with the 2006 World Cup.
The case collapsed because of time-limitation regulations.
Lauber survived a parliamentary vote which threatened his position after denying all allegations of misconduct and lodging an appeal with the Federal Court. Subsequently he withdrew from involvement in all FIFA-related cases.
These include a criminal process against former FIFA president Sepp Blatter over a $2m “disloyal payment” to ex-UEFA supremo Michel Platini. Both men have denied wrongdoing.
Lauber first came to attention beyond Switzerland in the wake of the eruption of the FIFAGate scandal in May 2015 when seven senior football executives were detained on extradition warrants from the United States.
The Swiss authorities apperared then to set in train a number of FIFA-linked cases as if out of embarrassment that it had taken the American authorities to act.
Four criminal charges are still pending against Lauber. Stefan Keller, the President of the Administrative and Supreme Court in Obwalden, is examining these criminal charges against Lauber, Infantino and others. The supervisory board had appointed Keller as an extraordinary public prosecutor in early July.