Trial for fraud: Platini sees conspiracy in favor of Infantino

lawsuit for fraud
Platini sees plot in favor of Infantino

The two once powerful football officials Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini are being sued for fraud. Both profess their innocence, with former UEFA President Platini’s camp even launching a counterattack.

In the trial of former FIFA President Joseph Blatter and Michel Platini, Platini’s lawyer is calling for the ex-UEFA boss to be acquitted. He also denounced public prejudice by the Swiss judiciary. Platini is not guilty of fraud or forgery, said attorney Dominic Nellen. In addition, the secured assets of around 2.2 million euros should be returned to Platini. The pleadings of the defense are due this Monday before the Federal Criminal Court in Bellinzona, Switzerland.

Last Wednesday, the Swiss federal prosecutor’s office called for a suspended prison sentence of one year and eight months for both Blatter and Platini. Platini should also pay a fine of around 2.16 million euros. Both have to answer for allegations of fraud and other crimes, they reject all allegations. The verdict is expected on July 8th. Blatter also called for an acquittal.

“Not inconsiderable criminal energy”

According to his defense attorney, Platini “always showed complete transparency and acted in good faith”. The trial is about justice and proving that he has done nothing wrong. Platini waived compensation, although the damage caused to him was incalculably high. The only thing that matters to him is his acquittal.

From Platini’s point of view, the accusation is a conspiracy designed to prevent him from becoming FIFA President and to 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 federal prosecutor’s office had said in their pleading last week that the accused “didn’t show a shred of remorse”. The agreements among themselves speak for a “not inconsiderable criminal energy”.

The defendants are accused of having deceived the World Football Association about an alleged outstanding claim by Platini. Blatter is said to have confirmed FIFA’s payment of two million francs (about 1.94 million euros as of today) plus social security contributions to Platini.

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