Swiss prosecutors appeal against Platini and Blatter’s acquittal (media release)
Swiss prosecutors are appealing the acquittal this summer of Michel Platini and former Fifa president Swiss Sepp Blatter in a fraud count, he said in a statement on Thursday.
The public prosecutor’s office sent a declaration of appeal to the Court of Appeal of the Federal Criminal Court (TPF) and “requested the complete annulment of the first-instance judgment,” according to the press release, which confirms information from the daily newspaper L’Equipe.
The public prosecutor emphasized that she would not comment further on this topic.
After six years of investigations and a two-week trial for fraud in Switzerland, French football icon (67) and Sepp Blatter (86) were acquitted on July 8th.
They faced five years in prison and prosecutors had requested a suspended sentence of one year and eight months.
They appeared to have illegally obtained “a payment of two million Swiss francs” (1.8 million euros) “at the expense of Fifa” “in favor of Michel Platini”.
The defense and the public prosecutor agreed on one point: the three-time Ballon d’Or advised Sepp Blatter well between 1998 and 2002, during his first term at Fifa. In 1999 the two men signed a contract in which they an annual salary of 300,000 Swiss francs, paid in full by Fifa.
But in January 2011, the former midfielder, who has meanwhile become UEFA President (2007-2015), “put forward a claim of two million Swiss francs”, the accusation qualified as “false calculation”.
The two men hammered on their side that they had agreed from the start to an annual salary of one million Swiss francs, by verbal “gentlemen’s agreement” and without witnesses, without Fifa’s finances not allowing an immediate payment to Mr Platini.
The Frenchman was “worth his million,” Sepp Blatter assured the judges, before Michel Platini himself described a trial that was so little formalized that he didn’t specify the motto: “I said for fun, I said + pesetas, lire , Ruble, Mark, it’s up to you +,” the blues legend said in court.
The latter considered that the fraud had “not been established with a probability bordering on certainty”, applying the general principle of criminal law that “the suspect must benefit from the doubt”.
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