Bern, Switzerland, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News – 1st Sep, 2020 ) :Michel Platini was quizzed by a Swiss prosecutor on Monday in a probe investigating a two-million-Swiss-franc ($2.2-million) payment that the former European football chief received from FIFA in 2011.
Platini was summoned to Switzerland‘s capital Bern by prosecutor Thomas Hildbrand. Sepp Blatter, the former president of the sport’s world governing body FIFA, is due to meet the prosecutor on Tuesday as part of the same proceedings.
Platini, the ex-head of European football‘s governing body UEFA, was questioned for around three hours at the Office of the Attorney General (OAG).
“The questions went very well for my client,” Platini’s lawyer Dominic Nellen told AFP after the meeting, which was held behind closed doors.
“He responded to all the questions that the OAG asked him and told how everything went down and what the truth is with the payment of the two million. We are awaiting the deposition of other witnesses in the coming days.
“There is nothing that we fear because they will tell the truth and the prosecutor can see for himself that there’s nothing illegal about that payment.” Platini appeared in good spirits as he entered the complex housing the OAG.
In June, Hildbrand formally added Platini to an investigation into the payment he received from FIFA in 2011 for an advisory job completed in 2002, on suspicion of “complicity in unfair management, embezzlement and forgery in securities”.
The 65-year-old former French football great now has the status of “accused” alongside Blatter.
Platini has been questioned once before by Swiss prosecutors but Monday was the first time he was grilled as an accused person, his lawyer said.
Nellen said he expected a further meeting with Hildbrand, at which the former UEFA chief will face further questions.
Two other former FIFA executives, Frenchman Jerome Valcke, the former secretary-general, and German Markus Kattner, the former financial director, are being investigated on “suspicion of unfair management”, the OAG has said.
Kattner will be questioned on September 4.
Blatter, who is 84, told AFP the payment was above board.
“It was a back pay for work done by Michel Platini. The sum was validated by the finance commission. It cannot be a criminal offence,” Blatter said, adding that he was “serene” ahead of the new hearing.
Platini appealed against his initial eight-year suspension at the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which reduced it to four years, then the Swiss Federal Court and finally at the European Court of Human Rights.
Only Lionel Messi (six) and Cristiano Ronaldo (five) have won more Ballons d’Or than Platini.