Swiss drop case but Blatter still faces 3 probes

Sepp Blatter was accused of paying for his former deputy's use of a private jet in 2007.
Sepp Blatter was accused of paying for his former deputy's use of a private jet in 2007.

LAUSANNE (Switzerland) • Swiss prosecutors said on Thursday that they had dropped an investigation into ailing former Fifa president Sepp Blatter, who was accused of defrauding world football's governing body by paying for a private jet used by the now-banned Jack Warner.

Prosecutors alleged the Swiss paid the US$365,000 (S$484,000) bill for the jet that Warner, who served as a Fifa vice-president during Blatter's 17-year reign, used in 2007.

The Trinidadian has since been banned from football and indicted by American prosecutors for charges related to corruption.

Swiss prosecutor Thomas Hildbrand abandoned the probe into Blatter this month, the Public Prosecutor's Office (MPC) said.

The MPC gave no reasons for the decision, which follows the dropping of an investigation into Blatter in May last year pertaining to Fifa's awarding of TV rights to the Caribbean Football Union, then presided by Warner.

Blatter has been seriously ill in hospital in recent weeks.

He was placed in an artificial coma for a week but has now left intensive care, his daughter Corinne told Swiss media group CH-Media yesterday.

However, the 84-year-old is still the subject of three investigations, principally one focusing on the accusation that he made an undocumented payment of two million Swiss francs (S$3 million) to former Uefa president Michel Platini in 2011.

In 2016, the Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld Blatter's six-year ban from football over ethics breaches, while Platini's suspension was reduced from six to four years.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 23, 2021, with the headline 'Swiss drop case but Blatter still faces 3 probes'. Subscribe