The Fiji Times

Swiss A-G’s saga

- ■

ZURICH - Swiss Attorney General Michael Lauber offered to resign yesterday after a court concluded he covered up a meeting with FIFA head Gianni Infantino and lied to supervisor­s while his office investigat­ed corruption surroundin­g soccer’s governing body.

The 54-year-old, who has been Switzerlan­d’s most senior state lawyer since 2012, denied lying but offered to resign to protect the reputation of his institutio­n.

“If they (the court) do not believe me as attorney general, then the Office of the Attorney General will be harmed,” he said in a statement.

Lauber had clung to his job despite damning reports from a government watchdog and calls to quit from campaigner­s over slow progress in corruption cases ranging from Brazil’s Petrobras to Malaysian state fund 1MDB.

Narrowly re-elected last year, he was also facing a parliament­ary impeachmen­t process, while a special prosecutor is reviewing criminal complaints against him.

“During the protracted time it has taken Lauber to go, he has managed to systematic­ally run down the institutio­n of the Attorney General’s office,” said Mark Pieth, a law professor who is Switzerlan­d’s best-known corruption fighter. Although FIFA is very interestin­g, the really serious stuff for Switzerlan­d as a financial centre are the cases like 1MDB and Petrobras ... It’s embarrassi­ng it’s taken so long for him to go.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Fiji