Qatar eyed Swiss prosecutor to probe FIFA: report

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Qatar eyed Swiss prosecutor to probe FIFA: report


Qatar monitored a meeting in 2017 between Switzerland’s former attorney general and FIFA president Gianni Infantinoin the midst of fears that the hosting of the World Cup last year may be canceled, a newspaper reported on Sunday.

The emirate denied the allegations, saying they were part of a “disinformation campaign” by European media.

But according to the NZZ am Sonntag weekly report, a special investigation recorded the meeting in a luxury hotel in Bern between the attorney general of Switzerland at the time, Michael Lauber, and Infantino. The newspaper cited official documents and other sources.

The document says that an investigation carried out several months ago showed that June 16, 2017, was secretly recorded. Lauber lost his job after the conversation went public.

Lauber’s attorney told the paper that his client did not know he was being spied on.

Lauber’s office was at the time investigating several corruption cases in world football, including the alleged interference in the election to award Qatar the 2022 World Cup.

The public prosecutor was forced to resign after it was revealed that he had met with Infantino three times. Lauber initially denied the meetings.

FIFA also looked at the meetings but an investigation found that Infantino, who said that the discussions were “completely legal”, had no case to answer.

The meeting in 2017 was at the luxury Hotel Schweizerhof, which has been run by Qataris since 2009, in a conference room in the same corridor as the Qatari office, NZZ said.

The report added that Qatar sought to sway international opinion amid fears it could lose the right to host the 2022 World Cup due to allegations of corruption and abuse of power. human rights.

With the help of a former CIA agent, the country spied on FIFA officials and Lauber, according to NZZ, which said they had obtained “secret official documents” on the horror of the hotel.

The document said sources with direct knowledge described the operation, on condition of anonymity, and said it carried the code name “Project Matterhorn”.

Sources said the goal of the investigation was to collect incriminating material that could be used to compel the public prosecutor.

With the crisis, Qatar would have known that the Swiss attorney general gave false information to its authorities when he said that no special meetings were held with Infantino after 2016.

According to NZZ, Lauber’s lawyer said that the former attorney general had no knowledge of any interference or recording of the Schweizerhof meeting, and that he was not intimidated or contacted by the Qatari workers.

The Qatari government said they could take legal action over the reports.

“The allegations are another attempt to spread false information about Qatar and damage its reputation,” a statement issued by the Fourth Office said. International press of the government.

“We reject the allegations and are investigating all legal avenues. It is clear that there are many defamation campaigns against Qatar in Europe, as shown by media reports in France, Switzerland and other places in Europe at the beginning of this month, it’s still going on.”

Qatar said the “reputable” media should “verify the truth of such baseless allegations before contributing to the spread of false information”.


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