FIFA probe: Switzerland suspends top economic crime prosecutor | News | DW | 09.11.2018
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FIFA probe: Switzerland suspends top economic crime prosecutor

The Swiss prosecutor overseeing an investigation of world soccer body FIFA has been suspended over unspecified allegations, federal prosecutors have said. They said the accusations "may be of criminal relevance."

The head of Switzerland's business crime division at the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) has been suspended over allegations of a possibly criminal nature, the office said on Friday, confirming a report by the Swiss daily Tages-Anzeiger.

The OAG said Olivier Thormann was suspended last week amid allegations concerning his conduct in the investigation of suspected corruption at world soccer FIFA.

"The information on which this decision is based is related to the OAG's criminal proceedings in the field of soccer and its governing body, FIFA," the office said in a statement, adding that the allegations had come to the OAG's attention at the end of September.

It said the information received "may be of criminal relevance," without giving further details or naming specific charges. It called the suspension a standard precautionary measure and said Thormann enjoyed the presumption of innocence.

Read more: Football Leaks: The next installment?

Long-running investigation

The OAG said the allegations had nothing to do with a probe launched earlier this week against Rinaldo Arnold, a lower-level prosecutor who is a personal friend of FIFA chief Gianni Infantino. The Tages-Anzeiger reported last week that Arnold, who has not been involved in the FIFA probe, had organized meetings between the Swiss attorney general and Infantino.

FIFA remains the target of a corruption investigation that has been ongoing since the arrest of top football officials on the eve of the 2015 FIFA Congress in Zurich. US prosecutors have charged more than 40 entities and individuals in connection with the probe.

So far, the OAB has not filed any charges.

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tj/sms (Reuters, dpa)

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