By Tony Attwood
Yesterday, the Swiss trial about a two-million-franc payment between Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini which the pair say was made for work undertaken, but which prosecutors claim to be fraud, exploded. The story is not in the English media but you can get a flavour of it here.
The Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland has charged the former top officials with fraud. But now Markus Kattner has entered the fray.
Markus Kattner served as acting Secretary-General of FIFA from September 2015 to May 2016, but was sacked after being accused of paying himself bonuses worth millions of dollars during a previous stint as FIFA’s director of Finance.
Kattner tore the core testimony of Olivier Thormann, the chief investigator for the state prosecutor at the time, to shreds. In response Platini’s lawyer immediately filed criminal charges against Thormann.
Which is a problem because Thormann is now the head of the appeals chamber of the federal court that would hear such a case!!
So suddenly this case is not about the flow of money between the former Fifa boss Blatter and his Uefa chum Platini, and whether Platini deserved to be paid that money or not, but whether the state prosecutor’s offce made up its entire investigation in 2015 into Plantini and Blatter!
Now at the time of the alleged events Platini was the favourite to get the top job in Fifa, so any attack on him would have had enormous consequences, opening the door for the rise and rise of Infantino (now skulking in Qatar where the Swiss investigators can’t get him concerning his own alleged offences.)
So in 2015, Platini was banned from football for receiving money. And as Untold has so regularly reported (although the UK media utterly refuse to consider the case for reasons only they can explain, but which look highly suspicious to me) a criminal investigation is underway against Infantino in Switzerland.
In fact Infantino has two criminal investigations on his hands that are being handled by special federal prosecutors, but he has nothing to worry about. He’s in Qatar where he can’t be touched. Qatar has no extradition treaty with Switzerland.
And Fifa has another problem – it has to present its offensive against Blatter and Platini as legally impeccable – in short as an investigative masterpiece
But the problem is that we already know that Lauber, the absolute head of the Swiss legal system, met Infantino, and kept on meeting from July 2015 onward. Which raises the question: why? Why was the head of the entire Swiss legal system meeting with Infantino, with no one else there and no formal record of the meetings taken by an officially appointed secretary?
Across the years there has been rumours of a whistleblower – now it looks like we are seeing the results of her or his reporting.
The previous chief investigator of the case, and head of the white collar crime unit, Olivier Thormann, was suspended in 2018 by has now presented a brand-new narrative of how the investigation came about. He has stated that the whistle blower he knew about was Markus Kattner. Kattner had separately approached Thormann, with documents relating to the payment of millions of pounds at Fifa headquarters on 27 May 2015 and had drawn attention to the affair.
In an amazing turn around the court naturally wanted to hear this background from Kattner himself and summoned him as a witness. And both Fifa and the office of the state prosecutor objected, not surprisingly.
But why would they do that if the whistleblower supported their version of events?
Yesterday (Tuesday), the court played Thormann’s key statements for Kattner to listen to. And then played them again!!! The State Prosecutor’s office said the papers had already been handed over. Kattner said he considered all the payments made in relation to this affair to be correct – and that is also logical: he had checked and approved them himself as finance director. He was hardly likely to accuse himself of financial cheating in front of a chief investigator.
So maybe we now need the lawyers to take the stand and say what they think happened! They admit they were always there.
And then another explosive twist. The Swiss raid on Fifa (the one Untold predicted after we noticed that Switzerland had changed the law to allow it, and the American law enforcement agencies to make arrests during a Fifa meeting) was part of a criminal investigation into vote-buying in connection with the awarding of the 2018 (Russia) and 2022 (Qatar) World Cups.
There is no doubt that the authorities have been undertaking the investigation into Fifa corruption throughout the whole affair in a ludicrous manner. It did not so search for details of the bribes to corrupt Fifa executives either in their homes or their professional environment. It looked for records of the bribes within Fifa, which they saw as the defrauded party!!!
The Swiss state prosecutor’s office took this investigative approach so far that in the summer of 2015, it told Platini’s bank that the two-million-euro payment should be seen as part of legitimate payment for his work on the awarding of the next World Cup.
Let me put it another way… The Fifa boss was using Fifa money to grease the palms of a Fifa vice-president and is running it through the Fifa books: so that Russia and/or Qatar got the World Cup. After which the boss of Fifa then moves to Qatar to live so he can’t be prosecuted.
Kattner has dismantled the narrative of Fifa and the state prosecutor’s office. Perhaps the latter had counted on being the home side in the game at the Federal Criminal Court, the official residence of the then chief investigator Thormann. But Kattner’s summons was a vote of no confidence in Fifa and the state prosecutor’s office.
Question 1 is what will Infantino now do?
Question 2 is will all the countries of the world that pay their billions into Fifa to enter the world cup, and allow Fifa (which incidentally still allows Russian delegates at all its meetings, unlike other sporting bodies) to run the show, carry on running the show?
So far the British media, uniquely in Europe, has refused even to touch this series of interlocked cases we have been covering for years and years. Will they acknowledge the reality now. The FA (totally paid for by the British tax payer,) is year after year supporting probably the most corrupt official world body that there is.
And the BBC is throwing millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money at Fifa year after year.
And some of that money was mine.
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