- Michael Lauber is suspected of having violated official duties around the investigation against the World Football Association.
- Now a lawsuit against the chief investigator is opened in Switzerland.
- Lauber finds: This is a "presumption".
The scant official note revealed little about the explosive nature of the case: "Disciplinary investigation regarding Federal Prosecutor Michael Lauber," said the supervisory authority of the Swiss Federal Prosecutor's Office (AB-BA) on Friday; an "external expert" should now take care of the matter. Lauber, the Bernese chief prosecutor, is suspected of having violated official duties around the investigation against the World Football Association (Fifa). He met with Fifa boss Gianni Infantino at least three times but never documented the meetings. The third meeting he wants to have completely forgotten, he stressed again on Friday before the short-loaded press. The witnessed an ever larger judicial scandal in which is now being investigated against an already battered chief investigator. Lauber used his speaking time to launch a frontal attack against his own controllers: The opening of the procedure was a "presumption", it aimed to sabotage his upcoming recruiting for the top office of the Bernese Penal System (BA).
Substantially Lauber, meanwhile, presented so little enlightening that observers like the Basel criminal law professor Mark Pieth see him ever deeper in the panic: "Lauber attacks with proper arrogance public supervision in an ongoing proceedings, which is highly problematic!" At least it seems more and more strange how Lauber acts in the affair. In the fall of 2018, he had to admit two non-recorded meetings with Infantino: The occasion had been talks, "to speed up" of the BA-led Fifa procedure. Such meetings are allowed, insisted Lauber on Friday. But that's not the topic. The point is that the meetings were not started by the BA but by Fifa. And above all, that they were never logged. "By law, they have to be documented and held in authority, not in the pub," says Pieth.
Fifa investigations finally lead to a judicial affair
Moreover, informal conversations in noble establishments may violate the rights of other parties to the proceedings. Therefore, five affected persons have already filed applications of bias against the BA. And as for speeding up the proceedings: To this day, Lauber's authority pushes two dozen Fifa complexes before her, which she opened in 2015 with a bang. Some, such as the summer fairy tale affair about the 2006 World Cup, threaten the statute of limitations.
The fact that Lauber could stumble over the quiet dates with the Fifa patron, was to be expected since Ruchbarwerden a third meeting in June 2017. All four participants – the football boss and three senior officials of the Swiss judiciary – can not remember this today. A collective blackout? Lauber on Friday objected to the "implicit" insinuation that he was lying. When the memory is gone, stop it.
Even otherwise, the BA boss offered hardly convincing. He repeatedly asked the press conference why he should keep silent about the third meeting, if he already admitted two? Such original questions probably do not belong to the standard of modern motivational research. Lauber spoke of an "institutional crisis" that is now being brought on in Bern: by the media, also by other lawyers – and by the supervisory body AB-BA. How small the chief investigator sees his share of the crisis is also shown by the fact that his BA is already biased with regard to independent investigative activities. The Federal Criminal Court has just given a different request: The BA procedural leader in a corruption scandal (to the daughter of the former Uzbek head of state) had to be withdrawn. In this case, too, there had been a discreet meeting of the leader and a BA round about Lauber, recorded with only a few lines; with prosecutors in Tashkent.
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