Swiss attorney general faces disciplinary steps over soccer probe

Reuters

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10.05.2019 13:09

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ZURICH (Reuters) - The watchdog overseeing Swiss federal prosecutors has ordered an independent disciplinary investigation into Attorney General Michael Lauber over private meetings with the head of the global soccer body FIFA, the agency said on Friday.

“The investigation should clarify under disciplinary law possible violations of official duties by the attorney general within the complex of the FIFA proceedings,” the agency said.

Lauber, who will address the issue at a news conference at 1330 GMT, has been investigating several cases of suspected corruption involving FIFA, based in Zurich, dating back to 2014 and the presidency of Sepp Blatter. The criminal probe treats FIFA as a victim rather than a suspect.

Lauber acknowledged two meetings with current FIFA president Gianni Infantino, saying they were intended to help coordinate his investigation.

But media reports of a third meeting prompted a preliminary investigation by the Supervisory Authority for the Office of the Attorney General, which said Lauber had denied having any other such meetings while in office.

Lauber later said he did not recall the third meeting but that it must have occurred.

The supervisor — which has chided Lauber for not documenting the meetings with Infantino, exposing him to potential allegations of bias — has decided to ask an outside expert to look into the matter. It did not immediately name the expert.

The Swiss parliament is due to decide next month whether to re-appoint Lauber to his position.

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