Sepp Blatter & Michel Platini prosecuted for fraud

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Former FIFA executives Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini have been charged with fraud by Swiss prosecutors following a six-year investigation into a suspected payment of 2 million Swiss francs (about 1.35 million pounds).

The case against the two stems from Platini’s request in 2011 for a delayed salary related to his time as Blatter’s adviser between 1998 and 2002, where Blatter ordered FIFA to make the payment of 2 million shortly thereafter.

A statement from the Swiss Attorney General’s Office stated that Mr Blatter and Mr Platini had agreed on an annual salary of FRF 300,000 for the work, all of which was paid in full by FIFA, and stated that there was no reason for this payment of EUR 2 million. over eight years after the end of the work.

Mr Blatter has been charged with fraud, mismanagement, embezzlement of FIFA funds and forgery of a document.

As for Platini, he has been charged with fraud, embezzlement, forgery and as an accomplice to Blatter’s alleged misconduct. The Frenchman was not originally investigated but found himself involved last year, after which the fraud allegations were made.

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The police investigation began as early as 2015 with a police raid on FIFA’s headquarters in Zurich, the same day that Blatter and Platini participated in a meeting with FIFA’s executive committee.

It was Blatter who was the focus of the investigation initially, but evidence of Platini’s involvement was eventually found and this case of fraud was built up.

The allegation is that Blatter, in preparation for a re-election campaign against Qatar’s Mohamed bin Hammam, used FIFA funds to pay Platini for his support and his ability to capture European voters. Both have denied the crime for several years.

Blatter and Platini have both claimed that they made a verbal agreement over 20 years ago that the 2 million would be paid, but no evidence of this has ever been found.

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