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Swiss AG Lauber, under cloud of FIFA scandal, elected to 3rd term

Attorney General Michael Lauber

BERN, Sept 25, (RTRS): The Swiss parliament on Wednesday approved Attorney General Michael Lauber for a third term, opting for continuity despite impending disciplinary proceedings over his handling of a soccer corruption probe.

 Lauber was thrown into the limelight last year when details emerged of confidential meetings he and another high-level prosecutor held with FIFA officials while investigating suspected corruption in world soccer.

 The resulting questions over their impartiality sent shockwaves through the Swiss justice system.

 The narrow vote keeping Lauber attorney general until the end of 2023 contradicted a recommendation against his re-election this month by parliament’s courts committee.

 The panel had said a scandal surrounding meetings he held with FIFA President Gianni Infantino had damaged the reputation of Switzerland’s highest prosecutorial office and put federal attorneys’ ability to act at risk.

 Lauber has defended his office’s handling of the case, noting global soccer body FIFA itself was not a target of the probe.

 While Lauber had acknowledged two meetings with Infantino in 2016, he had denied a third meeting reported by media to have occurred in 2017, prompting a disciplinary probe by the agency that supervises the attorney general’s office.

He later said he did not recall the third meeting but that it must have occurred based on diary entries and text messages.

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