Platini-Blatter case: no appeal from FIFA, but reckoning

Platini-Blatter case: no appeal from FIFA, but reckoning

As the only civil party in the trial of Michel Platini and Sepp Blatter, in the so-called “2 million Swiss francs” case, FIFA announced on Wednesday night that it had no intention of “contest the judgment” of the two former leaders, acquitted by the Federal Criminal Court (TPF) of Bellinzona at the beginning of July. “Therefore, we let the Swiss authorities proceed with this case”explained the world body, chaired by Gianni Infantino, just before the end of the deadline -twenty days after receipt of the reasoned ruling, on September 29- to make an appeal.

For its part, the Public Ministry of the Swiss Confederation (MPC, prosecutor’s office), announced on Wednesday that it had “sent an appeal statement to the Court of Appeals of the Federal Criminal Court » Y “requested the total annulment of the judgment of first instance” after this snub, in a legal and media saga that began seven years ago. Platini and Blatter notably appeared for “fraud”, in June, before the TPF, but the Bellinzona jurisdiction considered that it was not “not established with a probability close to certainty” ; the doubt benefited the two defendants, while the federal prosecutor’s office had requested a year and eight months of suspended prison against him.

Platini criticized the “hatred of FIFA” against him

The date of his appeal trial is not yet known, but it may not take place before early 2024. For example, eighteen months had elapsed between the first instance and the appeal trials of Nasser al-Khelaïfi, head of the group beIN Media and PSG, and Jérôme Valcke, former FIFA number 2, after which the two men were acquitted twice on the part of the file that affected each other.

During the first instance trial of Blatter and Platini, FIFA, represented by Me Hohl-Chirazi, had pointed out a “illicit enrichment” of Platini in this case of suspicious payment, in the context of the distant war between “Platoche” and Infantino. The Italian-Swiss was Lorrain’s right arm when he led UEFA, before taking the head of the world body in February 2016, when Platini, a candidate for the position, was already entangled in these judicial meanderings and suspended by the ethics committee of the organism. (Platini’s suspension ended in October 2019).

Sepp Blatter, last July in Bellinzona.  (F. Faugère/The Team)

Sepp Blatter, last July in Bellinzona. (F. Faugère/The Team)

During the trial, the former number 10 of the Blues had spoken of “Fifa’s hate against [lui] since 2015 » and his German-speaking lawyer, Me Dominic Nellen, navigating the theory of “conspiracy”considered that the organization and its president had “Everything so that the federal prosecutor’s office definitively dismisses Michel Platini, in order to prevent him from challenging him for the position of head of world football”.

Infantino is the subject of criminal proceedings in Switzerland

During the debates, Platini refused to answer questions. of a house (FIFA) whose president is impeached. In fact, Gianni Infantino is the subject of criminal proceedings opened since July 2020 against him, and that of Michael Lauber, former head of the Swiss prosecutor’s office, for “incitement to abuse of authority, violation of the secrecy of the position and obstruction of the criminal process” . . At the center of the file: three secret meetings in which the two men participated (in 2016 and 2017). These meetings without protocol fuel suspicions of collusion between FIFA and the Swiss magistrates.

In its response to our request, FIFA recalled on Wednesday night, with malicious pleasure, “that the relevant decisions of the FIFA Ethics Committee were taken as early as 2015 (in other words, well before the 2016 FIFA presidential elections),” and that at the time, this commission “was made up of members appointed by President Blatter and his executive committee, of which Mr. Platini was vice president”.

“Criminal justice outcomes are clearly very different between countries”

The International Federation, on the proceedings and trials after the “FIFAgate” scandal

“Previous decisions of the FIFA Ethics Committee regarding MM. Blatter and Platini, as confirmed by the CAS, the Swiss Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights, remain fully valid and effective, add FIFA. These decisions are in no way affected by the decision of a Swiss criminal court..

FIFA finally takes the opportunity to address, in hollow, this ” decision “ of the TPF Criminal Court, which acquitted Platini and Blatter in early July, referring to the ongoing trials and proceedings on the other side of the Atlantic in relation to the “FIFAgate” corruption scandal, triggered in the spring of 2015 . “It should also be noted that in the United States many officials have been sent to prison for abusing their position in football and that FIFA itself, under its new management, has recently received more than 200 million dollars. (203 million euros) by the US authorities in compensation for the damage suffered by football as a result, concludes the International Federation. Criminal justice outcomes are clearly very different between countries”.

Asked, Platini’s entourage did not want to comment.

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