Platini 'in between witness and accused person': Swiss prosecutor

Tue Sep 29, 2015 3:19pm EDT
 
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By Joshua Franklin

ZURICH (Reuters) - Swiss authorities are treating UEFA head Michel Platini as somewhere "between a witness and an accused person" in a soccer corruption probe that was widened last week to include FIFA President Sepp Blatter, Switzerland's attorney general said.

Michael Lauber told reporters he did not rule out searching the headquarters of UEFA, the governing body of European soccer, as part of the investigation.

Swiss prosecutors said on Friday they had opened a criminal investigation into Blatter, the long-time head of world soccer's governing body FIFA, on suspicion of criminal mismanagement and misappropriation of funds.

The prosecutors said Blatter was suspected of a "disloyal payment" of 2 million Swiss francs ($2.05 million) to Platini in 2011 at the expense of FIFA, allegedly made for work performed between January 1999 and June 2002.

Platini, who until Friday was considered favorite to win the presidential election on Feb. 26, also asked to give information.

"We didn't audition Mr Platini as a witness, that's not true. We investigated against him in between as a witness and an accused person," Lauber said after a speaking engagement on Tuesday.

"If I was satisfied or not, I can't tell because I would do real damage to the investigation."

He said his office had not yet decided whether to bring charges against Blatter. [ID:nL5N11Y3VN]   Continued...

 
Football - Wales v Israel - UEFA Euro 2016 Qualifying Group B - Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff, Wales - 6/9/15
UEFA President Michel Platini in the stands before the game
Reuters / Rebecca Naden
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