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Swiss prosecutor faces impeachment proceedings over FIFA probe

Michael Lauber arrives for his hearing with a judiciary committee on May 20, 2020. Keystone / Peter Klaunzer

Swiss Attorney General Michael Lauber faces impeachment proceedings over his handling of a FIFA corruption probe. This is a first in the history of the federal public prosecutor’s office.

Parliament’s judicial committee on Wednesday held a two-hour hearing with the attorney general to assess whether there are reasonable grounds to suspect he had breached his official duties either deliberately or through gross negligence. 

The committee’s head, Andrea Caroni, announced the decision late Wednesday, which was taken with 13 votes in favour and four against. The committee could file a motion to remove Lauber from office, which parliament would vote on in September at the earliest.

Lauber said Wednesday’s meeting with the judicial committee had “gone well.” 

The attorney general has come under scrutiny over how his office handled the FIFA corruption investigation and for holding undocumented meetings with FIFA President Gianni Infantino.

As punishment, an independent oversight authority, AB-BAExternal link, cut Lauber’s nearly CHF300,000 ($309,000) salary by 8% for one year.

+ More details on the Lauber controversy here

Lauber has made an appeal to the Federal Administrative Court. He alleges that the supervisory authority committed numerous procedural errors, exceeded its competence and was biased.

Last September, parliament re-elected Lauber for a third term despite months of controversy over his handling of the FIFA case.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR