Under-fire Swiss attorney general offers to step down

Swiss Attorney General Michael Lauber (centre) in a file photo Keystone / Peter Klaunzer

Swiss Attorney General Michael Lauber - facing impeachment proceedings over his handling of a FIFA corruption probe - has offered his resignation following a court decision that criticised his conduct.

This content was published on July 24, 2020 - 11:50

Lauber's move comes after a federal court in Switzerland said on Friday that Lauber had committed several breaches of his official duties and lied to investigators while his office examined alleged corruption surrounding soccer governing body FIFA.

Lauber has again denied that he was lying.

The Federal Administrative Court (FAC) saidExternal link that Lauber made "implausible" statements about an undisclosed meeting with FIFA President Gianni Infantino in June 2017. It added that Lauber "intentionally made a false statement" to the watchdog investigating his conduct and knowingly concealed the meeting.

"Overall, the court finds that Attorney General Lauber committed several breaches of official duty," the court said.

The ruling was in response to Lauber's appeal against being disciplined in March for misconduct over the FIFA affair.  Here, a federal oversight panel deducted 8% of Lauber's near-$300,000 (CHF278,000) yearly salary for "breach of duty".

Personal statement

"In the interests of the institutions I offer my resignation," Lauber said in personal statementExternal link released by the Office of the Attorney General on Friday. saying he was concerned about the reputation of the Office of the Attorney General.

Lauber again insisted that he had not lied, as he has stated previously. "However if they [the court] do not believe me as attorney general, then the Office of the Attorney General will be harmed," he said.

Attorney general since 2012, Lauber was already facing impeachment proceedings, while a special prosecutor is reviewing criminal complaints against him and Infantino, who has denied any wrongdoing.

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