Swiss authorities got a potential lead in their case against former FIFA president Sepp Blatter and other members within FIFA. Various members within FIFA and other continental confederations have already been charged for various corruption charges but this potential new information can only help.
In an interview on German TV, Andre Marty, spokesman for the Swiss attorney general’s office said, “a witness, a so-called whistleblower, gave us interesting information relevant to the case, which brought us markedly forward in the criminal investigation.” Marty hopes that they can bring charges due to this whistleblower’s information by the end of the year.
Blatter himself hasn’t been charged by authorities but that could possibly change. He has however, been banned eight years by FIFA because of an improper $2 million payment made to former vice-president Michel Platini that was determined to be a bribe.
Platini ended his presidential campaign around the time of the payment and Blatter won unopposed. Platini was also banned eight years for his part but neither has been officially charged by Swiss or U.S. authorities. While Blatter and Platini are in the process of appealing their eight year bans, FIFA is pushing to ban the two for life.
Even though Blatter hasn’t been charged yet, that doesn’t mean Swiss authorities have been ignoring him. Four months ago, Swiss attorney general Michael Lauber opened a criminal investigation on the 79 year old and raided his office.
It may be frustrating to people outside the legal system that Blatter hasn’t been charged even though we’re eight months into the FIFA scandal, but it’s important to note that authorities don’t want to leave any loose ends. Yes, it would appear that Blatter has enough against him that would warrant charges but Swiss and U.S. authorities want to make sure they have an open and shut case and Blatter cannot escape on any sort of technicality. And if authorities bring charges against lower ranking people in the hopes they will provide information on their higher ups or get a whistleblower like we have here, that can only strengthen their case. The public is just going to have to remain patient but it appears it’s only a matter of time before Blatter is charged.