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FIFA meetings Swiss Attorney General blasts disciplinary probe

Attorney General giving press conference

The watchdog overseeing Swiss federal prosecutors has ordered a disciplinary investigation into Lauber over several informal meetings with the head of the world soccer body FIFA, Gianni Infantino.

(Keystone)

Swiss Attorney General Michael Lauber on Friday criticized an independent disciplinary investigation into his conduct relating to a football corruption investigation. 

The watchdog overseeing Swiss federal prosecutors has ordered a disciplinary investigation into Lauber over several informal meetings with the head of the world soccer body FIFA, Gianni Infantino.

"It's not only a full-frontal assault on my person," he told reporters on Friday. "In my opinion, it's also an infringement on the independence of the Office of the Attorney General."

Lauber believes "conspiracy theories" over his meetings with Infantino and presumptions of dishonesty are interfering with prosecutorial integrity ahead of a parliamentary vote over his re-election due in June. 

He insisted on Friday that he would still run for a third term. Parliament is to decide whether or not to re-appoint him. 

Third meeting?

The Attorney General is under a preliminary investigation by the watchdog overseeing his office after media allegations in April of a third secret meeting with Infantino in 2017. The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) has been investigating several cases of corruption involving Zurich-based FIFA, dating back to 2014 and the presidency of Sepp Blatter.

Lauber has acknowledged two meetings with current FIFA president Infantino, saying they were intended to help coordinate the investigation. However, he claims no recollection of a third meeting. He has also denied accusations of lying or hiding information. 

Such meetings are permitted but should be properly recorded and documented, according to the watchdog body for Lauber's office. 

The oversight body said on Friday that the disciplinary investigation will be conducted by an external expert to ensure that the procedure is objective and fair.

Lauber was quizzed by a parliamentary controls committee on Friday and said he would face other committees next week. 

Third meeting? Attorney general under pressure over alleged meeting with FIFA boss

A probe has been opened to shed light on an alleged third meeting between FIFA President Gianni Infantino and Swiss Attorney General Michael Lauber. 

This content was published on April 25, 2019 3:23 PM

RTS/Keystone-SDA/jc

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