The second day of the trial of Sepp Blatter (86 years old) and Michel Platini (66 years old) was marked by the hearings of Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini, this Thursday morning, at the Federal Criminal Court (TPF) in Bellinzona. They had to whistle the ears of FIFA boss Gianni Infantino. At the end of their interrogation by the president of the court, the two famous defendants refused to answer the questions of the Geneva lawyer of the world body during this trial, Me Hohl-Chirazi.
Asked about the famous invoice of two million Swiss francs, at the heart of this supposedly unfair payment file, Blatter replied: “I will not answer questions from FIFA because since March 2016, the President of FIFA (Gianni Infantino, who had just been elected) never answered me.
Me Catherine Hohl-Chirazi, lawyer for FIFA. (F. Faugère/The Team)
Same position for Platini, when the lawyer for the International Federation wanted to try his luck again. The former UEFA president was even more scathing, saying: “I will not answer a house (FIFA) whose president is indicted. » A reference to the criminal proceedings opened in July 2020 against Platini’s ex-right-hand man at the European Confederation, and the ex-head of the federal prosecutor’s office, Michael Lauber, for three secret meetings in which the two men participated (in 2016 and 2017).
“Me, I was passed off as an account falsifier and a money launderer. The goal was for me not to become president. »
These unprotocold meetings fuel suspicions of collusion between FIFA and Swiss magistrates, and hover above the trial. “I agree with Mr. Blatter in the way we were treated by FIFAcontinued the Lorrain. Me, I was passed off as an account falsifier and a money launderer. The goal was for me not to become president. It is not easy, when you are known worldwide, to be criticized worldwide. »
Michel Platini, on his arrival at the court. (F. Faugère/The Team)
Previously, Sepp Blatter had maintained his version in this case of allegedly unfair payment: that of a “oral contract” initially passed between him and Platini, of a payment of arrears of salary and an invoice which was known, according to him, within the organs of FIFA. “I just had this man in my house and he was worth his million”said the ex-boss of world football. “When I was elected FIFA President, we had a bad record. But I thought to myself that a man who has been in football could help us, FIFA and myself, he said. Michel Platini told me ”I’m worth a million”. I told him : ”So you’ll be in my house for a million”. »
In the introduction to his statement, in front of the three judges of the criminal court of the TPF, Blatter had estimated “completely incomprehensible” to find himself before such a court, for a file which, according to him, comes under a “administrative matter, within an association, to be dealt with by civil law”.
Blatter “glad it can end”
But the Swiss also said he was satisfied to be able to explain himself to the judges. “In fact, I have already been punished for seven years (the start of the criminal proceedings against him dates from the end of September 2015), it’s like an eternity. I only needed one hand to count my friends. I am happy to be here and that it can end”.
Michel Platini had taken the place of his ex-mentor, in the middle of the courtroom, facing the three judges, shortly after 10:15 a.m. “I succumbed to the charisma of Mr. Blatterexplained Platini, about his role as adviser. I was his guarantee of the world of football in a world where there are no footballers. I worked mainly on the development [du programme] Goal and on the international calendar. And I took part in Sepp Blatter’s travels. When he was in politics, I accompanied him. But the little problem is that I didn’t have a contract…
Michel Platini and Sepp Blatter in discussion during the 2014 World Cup. (S. Mantey/L’Équipe)
In August 1999, I told him that I had been working for him for a year, but that there was no such contract. If I had had an accident, I was not protected. He told me there was a problem paying the amount. I asked : ”What do we do” ? Blatter told me that he was going to give me a contract at 300,000 Swiss francs a year as the secretary general (of the authority), at the time, and for the rest, which we would see later. But I’m not a money man, I didn’t feel concerned. Since the age of 17, I had earned a very good living. »
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