Swiss Federal Prosecutor’s Office: Judgment in the Blatter/Platini case – conspiracy or not?

Swiss Attorney General
Judgment in the Blatter/Platini case – conspiracy or not?

Joseph Blatter and Michel Platini

The defendants are accused of having deceived FIFA about an alleged outstanding claim by Platini. Photo: Patrick B. Kraemer/epa/dpa

© dpa-infocom GmbH

The prosecution is asking for a suspended sentence, the defense for an acquittal. The eagerly awaited verdict was reached in the trial of former functionaries Joseph Blatter and Michel Platini.

Announced almost exactly seven years ago Michel Platini his candidacy to succeed Joseph Blatter. In July 2015, the rise of the French UEFA president to president of the world football association FIFA seemed only a matter of form.

“There are times in life when you have to take your fate into your own hands,” said the former European champion pathetically.

Fate was different. Instead of being in the stands at the women’s European Championship in England, Platini will be one row behind on Friday as an outcast from the football family and the accused Leaves sit in Viale Stefano Franscini in the Swiss Federal Criminal Court of Bellinzona. The verdict in the trial against the duo for allegations of fraud and other offenses is eagerly awaited. Also in the room is the question: is Platini’s theory of a conspiracy against him correct – and what are the effects on today’s world of officials?

The reproach

The defendants are accused of having FIFA deceived about an allegedly still outstanding claim by Platini. According to the indictment, Blatter is said to have unlawfully confirmed the payment of the world association in the amount of two million Swiss francs (currently around 2.02 million euros) plus social security contributions to Platini.

The prosecutor’s request

The Swiss federal prosecutor therefore called for a suspended prison sentence of one year and eight months for 86-year-old Blatter and Platini, who is 19 years his junior. The Frenchman should also reimburse the amount received and the social benefits paid on it.

The defense’s plea

The lawyers for Blatter and Platini, on the other hand, each demanded that their clients be acquitted. In addition, Platini’s defense attorney Dominic Nellen denounced public prejudice by the Swiss judiciary. There is no motive for the alleged crime of fraud, but there is one for the present criminal case. Accordingly, the initial suspicion that triggered the procedure was constructed, the lawyer emphasized.

A plot?

From the point of view of Platini and his lawyer, the prosecution is one plot, which served to prevent him from becoming FIFA President and clear the way for the current incumbent, Gianni Infantino. The payment from 2011 only became interesting again when the office of FIFA President was vacant in 2015. The world association appears in the proceedings as a joint plaintiff.

On the previous days of the hearing, it was also discussed how the investigators found out about the payment. Former prosecutor at the Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office, Olivier Thormann, stated that the information was obtained from then-FIFA Chief Financial Officer Markus Kattner during a search at FIFA in the wake of the 2015 scandal, alongside the wage statements of the then Executive Committee. However, he explained that he had not specifically pointed out the payment to the investigators. He was convinced of the legality.


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