Blatter and Platini to be interrogated by Swiss prosecutor
Michel Platini and Sepp Blatter each face interrogation from the Swiss public prosecutor this week as part of the of the proceedings opened in 2015 over a 2011 payment of 2 million Swiss francs.
Platini, the former head of European football’s governing body UEFA, has been summoned to Bern by prosecutor Thomas Hildbrand for a hearing on Monday. Blatter, the former president of word governing body FIFA, is due on Tuesday.
In June, Hildbrand formally added Platini to an investigation into a 1.8 million euro payment he received from FIFA in 2011 for an advisory job completed in 2002 on suspicion of “complicity in unfair management, embezzlement and forgery in securities”.
The 65-year-old Frenchman now has the status of “accused” alongside Blatter.
Platini said at the time that the prosecutor’s office (MPC) had “confirmed in writing in May 2018” that his case was closed.
Two other former FIFA executives, Frenchman Jerome Valcke, the former secretary-general, and German Markus Kattner, the former financial director, are being investigated “for suspicion of unfair management”, the MPC office said.
Kattner will be interrogated on September 4.
Platini said he was being persecuted by FIFA.
“After five years, it is quite possible that FIFA will continue to harass me through complaints with the sole aim of keeping me out of football and smearing my reputation,” he said in June.
Blatter, who is 84, told AFP the payment was above board.
“It was a back pay for work done by Michel Platini. The sum was validated by the finance commission. It cannot be a criminal offence,” Blatter said, adding that he was “serene” ahead of the new hearing.
FIFA deemed the sum a “disloyal payment” and suspended Blatter and Platini from all football-related activities, which prevented the former UEFA president from running for the FIFA presidency in 2016.
Platini appealed his suspension to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which reduced it to four years, then the Swiss Federal Court and finally at the European Court of Human Rights.
Hildbrand questioned Blatter in late July and early August in connection with a separate investigation into television rights contracts issued to the Caribbean Football Union.