Ex-Swiss prosecutor denies Qatari eavesdropping claim

Former Swiss Attorney General Michael Lauber faces continued suspicion over his dealings with FIFA. © Keystone / Anthony Anex

Switzerland’s former Attorney General denies he was being blackmailed by Qatar and rejected allegations that a meeting with FIFA president Gianni Infantino was bugged.

This content was published on March 18, 2023

Speaking to the Tages Anzeiger newspaper, Michael Lauber insisted that the “unspeakable conspiracy stories” are baseless.

+ How Qatar spied on the world of football in SwitzerlandExternal link

“It has been insinuated that I was bought or blackmailed by Qatar, and ultimately also subject to blackmail,” said Lauber. “This is outrageous. Nothing has been proven, and the allegations are malicious.”

Last week, the NZZ am Sonntag newspaper reported that surveillance was carried out to gather material on Lauber who was overseeing a probe of international football officials at the time.

The alleged spying operation bugged a 2017 meeting in a Qatari-owned hotel in the Swiss capital, Bern. The hotel at the time also housed the emirate’s embassy.

But Lauber says the documents used by the NZZ am Sonntag as evidence for its article are fake and in any case date back to 2011, well before Lauber met with Infantino.

The Swiss authorities for investigating the secret meetings between Lauber and Infantino while world football’s governing body, FIFA, was itself the subject of a criminal probe.

The meetings ultimately cost Lauber his job as Switzerland’s top federal prosecutor.

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