FIFA: Platini heard as plaintiff

Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini, May 29, 2015.
Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini, May 29, 2015. PATRICK B. KRAEMER / AP

Michel Platini was heard over more than three hours as a plaintiff on Tuesday, May 14, in Paris by the officers of the Human Rights Suppression Brigade (BDRP), learned The world. The hearing of the suspended former President of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) follows from his complaint against X for "Slanderous denunciation" and "Criminal conspiracy to commit the offense of slanderous denunciation".

Wishing to determine the role of former leaders of the International Football Federation (FIFA) in its downfall, the former number 10 of the Bleus had filed a complaint, September 14, 2018, with the Deputy Attorney General near the court of great instance of Paris.

Mr Platini, whose suspension by the disciplinary bodies of the FIFA four-year "For violation of the code of ethics" 2015 will end in October, shedding light on the conditions under which the information relating to the payment of 2 million Swiss francs (€ 1.8 million) FIFA boss Sepp Blatter was sent to the Public Prosecutor's Office of the Swiss Confederation (MPC). This sum corresponded to work done when he was acting as adviser to Switzerland between 1999 and 2002.

The opening of the MPC's investigation, on September 24, 2015, is in all likelihood following an internal leak. Unlike Mr Blatter, who is the subject of criminal proceedings, Mr Platini was heard as an assisted witness. In May 2018, he received a letter from the Swiss prosecutor's office confirming that he will not be incriminated in the context of these proceedings. '

A scuttled application?

The French court has opened a preliminary investigation to determine the roles and levels of responsibility of three former FIFA leaders, targeted by Camp Platini: Sepp Blatter, Domenico Scala, former chairman of the Audit and Audit Committee. Electoral Committee and Marco Villiger, former Legal Director.

"This hearing was an opportunity for Mr. Platini to describe the mechanics of the conspiracy and the role of its main actors, a real association of criminals – this is also the offense denounced – with a view to committing the crime of calumnious denunciation. . His audition is indisputably the kick-off of an investigation that should lead to many hearings in the coming months " says William Bourdon, the lawyer of the former boss of UEFA. Radiated by the Ethics Committee of the Federation, Mr Platini could not run for the presidency of FIFA in February 2016.

Mr Scala – silent since his departure from FIFA in May 2016 – is suspected by defenders of the French to have had an active role in his downfall. On October 20, 2015, at a meeting of the FIFA Executive Committee (Government), the leader presented a table of criminal and ethical sanctions that could affect Mr. Platini. His intervention is recorded in a report that The world got himself.

The lawyers of the former captain of Les Bleus, 63, also criticize Scala for having put in place a communication plan to bury the ambitions of their client: they point to an interview with Financial Times, the day before that meeting, in which Mr Scala accuses Mr Platini of "Falsification of accounts". Andreas Bantel, former spokesperson for Mr Scala and the examining chamber of the Ethics Committee, has also been the subject of a criminal complaint by Mr Platini since 2016 in the Zurich public prosecutor's office. for "Defamation" or "Alternatively slander".

18 terabytes of data captured by the MPC

The name of Marco Villiger, pushed to the exit in August 2018 by the new president of the FIFA, Gianni Infantino, returns to the leak with the MPC, then in search of informants since it had a mass of colossal data – some 18 terabytes – seized at FIFA.

In a survey published in 2016, the American sports channel ESPN told the meeting, incognito, between a "Blatter insider" and a senior Swiss public prosecutor in a Zurich park. This "mole" revealed the payment made to Mr. Platini and where to find the trace. This denunciation led to a search of the Federation's headquarters on 25 September 2015 in Zurich. On that day, federal officers found the receipt of payment in Mr. Blatter's office.

Different sources, internal and external to FIFA, interviewed by The world, suspect Mr. Villiger, former "lawyer" and guardian of all the secrets of Mr. Blatter, to be that deep throat. "The ethics committee is fully aware that it is in everyone's interest that the investigation (on M. Platini) be conducted as quickly as possible ", said Mr Villiger, who was the secretary of the committee and had access to the progress of the procedure, on 20 October 2015, at the meeting of the FIFA Executive Committee.

FIFA has always assured that Mr. Villiger was not aware of the payment made to Mr. Platini prior to the search. This version was challenged before the Court of Arbitration for Sport by Markus Kattner, FIFA's former chief financial officer. "Villiger knew everything, it was the direct line for justice by its function," blows a former colleague who requires anonymity. "These suspicions are false," Mr. Villiger had replied to The Team, in January 2018, without developing.

The close ties between Mr Villiger and Olivier Thormann, the economic affairs prosecutor and the FIFAgate MPC, have since made headlines. In November 2018, Mr. Thormann was the subject of an internal investigation, according to Radio Télévision Suisse, for " breach of function secret, acceptance of benefits and corruption in his contacts with a former FIFA collaborator. "Bleached, the prosecutor was however forced to leave his post because of his special relationship with Mr. Villiger.

In his book My truth (Éditions Héloïse d'Ormesson, 240 pages), published in May 2018, Mr. Blatter accuses Mr. Villiger to have revealed this payment to justice. "He had direct relations with the prosecution", he confided World in the same era.

Blatter is willing to be heard by the French justice

Several sources suspect the Swiss, suspended six years, to have been "The sprinkler watered", by sponsoring or encouraging the escape. "Never Platini": that was the motto that Mr. Blatter, 83, had passed to his management in the summer of 2015. " He was ready to do anything to eliminate him from the system, he hated the star, the player he was, " assures a former relative.

" We must kill Michel! In June 2015, the patriarch also stormed a luncheon at the Sonnenberg restaurant in Zurich, accompanied by his former secretary general Jérôme Valcke and his nephew, Philippe Blatter. On that day, the Swiss – at the time inclined to show his entourage, in his office, the bill of payment and the letter of Platini asking for his remainder of salary, in 2011 – mentioned the existence of this transfer. Sepp Blatter suggested that it would be a way to sink the upcoming French bid. He also pushed in vain his lieutenant Valcke to run for the FIFA presidency to block him.

"I think very well that Mr. Platini sheds light in there because there has been denunciation. He and I are on the same boat »responded in October 2018, World Mr. Blatter. " I'm crazy sometimes, as Mr. Platini may be, but not fool enough to denounce myself. " Today, he says he is ready to respond to French justice.

Rémi Dupré

React or view all comments
Leave a comment

Send a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.