At 85, despite a heart operation undergone in December 2020, the Swiss Sepp Blatter has retained all his fighting spirit. Heard one last time Thursday August 12 by the Swiss federal prosecutor Thomas Hildebrand, the former president of the International Football Federation (FIFA) tried to influence the position of the magistrate within the framework of the criminal proceedings opened against him, since September 2015, for “Suspicion of fraud, breach of trust and unfair management”.
Heard daily since Monday, in Zurich, Mr. Blatter does not seem to have convinced Mr. Hildebrand regarding the alleged unfair payment of 2 million Swiss francs (1.8 million euros) he made in February 2011, to Michel Platini, then boss of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA). The latter has been prosecuted since 2020 for “Suspicion of fraud, participation in breach of trust, participation in unfair management and forgery in securities”.
Mr Blatter repeated it: according to him, this payment was, by virtue of a “Oral contract” sealed in 1998, a remainder of wages paid to Mr. Platini for the period during which the French served as adviser to the president of FIFA (1998-2002).
Mr. Hildebrand does not believe in this version – confirmed by the former number 10 of the Blues – insofar as this payment was made a few months before the re-election of Mr. Blatter, in June 2011. The boss of world football had received the support of UEFA, then promising to make a ” last term. “
According to Mr. Blatter’s spokesperson, the latter’s lawyer, Me Lorenz Erni, left his usual reserve at the end of this final hearing. ” Now is the time to stop molesting Mr. Blatter », Declared the lawyer.
The Public Prosecutor of the Swiss Confederation (MPC) must send the parties its “notice of next closure” and thus notify them if it decides either to close the proceedings, or, more likely, to file an indictment and indictment. pave the way for a trial before the Federal Criminal Court (TPF).
The parties will have the opportunity to challenge this decision and request acts, such as hearing witnesses, or evidence. Then, the prosecution will officially announce its decision.
Suspicion of collusion
While the opening of the proceedings against Mr. Blatter sealed the candidacy of Mr. Platini to succeed the Swiss and in October 2015, the two men were suspended by the FIFA ethics committee due to this suspicious payment, the lawyers of the tandem claim to ignore how the MPC obtained, in the summer of 2015, the information relating to this payment.
You have 52.67% of this article to read. The rest is for subscribers only.