20 August 2020
Michael Lauber was the Attorney general since 2012. A court concluded that he had covered up a meeting with FIFA head Gianni Infantino and lied to supervisors while his office investigated corruption surrounding soccer’s governing body. A special prosecutor is investigating both men over three undocumented meetings. Both Michael Lauber and Gianni Infantino are Swiss nationals. They have denied any wrongdoing.
Gianni Infantino will continue to exercise his functions as FIFA president, despite criminal proceedings in Switzerland targeting him.
Lauber had said he would formally step down at the end of January and shorten his notice period by five months.
Lauber’s two deputies will run the Office of the Attorney General until his replacement is selected. The judicial committee said it would propose a candidate during parliament’s winter session.
Parliament’s judicial committee launched the impeachment proceedings in May. It dropped its impeachment case against Lauber after he agreed to leave office early amid accusations that he bungled an investigation into corruption in world soccer.
Football Leaks, a cross-border investigation by several European news organisations, claimed that Infantino allegedly invited prosecutor Rinaldo Arnold to attend the World Cup in Russia, the 2016 FIFA Congress in Mexico and the Champions League final in Milan that year, in exchange for organising meetings with Lauber. A Swiss magistrate cleared Rinaldo Arnold of any suspicion. He contended that gifts that Rinaldo Arnold received in the form of match tickets were not aimed at influencing his work.
US and EU politicians have written to the Swiss government expressing concerns over the independence of Switzerland’s federal prosecutor, Michael Lauber, and his connections to Russia. Senator Roger Wicker, co-chairman of the US Helsinki Commission and Boriss Cilevics, chairman of the Council of Europe’s committee on legal affairs and human rights are two of them.
Channel News Asia reported.