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Sep 24, 2015

Swiss prosecutors to get access to suspended FIFA official’s emails

ZURICH, Sept 24 (Reuters) – Hours after complaining that their access to data was still being blocked, Swiss prosecutors late on Thursday confirmed that the global soccer body FIFA was going to unseal email accounts belonging to Jerome Valcke, the FIFA secretary general who was suspended by the organization last week.

In an emailed statement, Andre Marty, spokesman for Swiss Attorney General Michael Lauber, said that the decision by FIFA means that investigators “will have access to Mr. Valcke’s email accounts as requested.”

Sep 24, 2015

Dispute between FIFA and Swiss prosecutors over emails takes a new turn

ZURICH, Sept 24 (Reuters) – A dispute over access to emails which erupted late Wednesday between Switzerland’s top prosecutor and soccer’s global governing body FIFA took a new turn on Thursday with FIFA claiming it was ready to cooperate and prosecutors still accusing it of obstruction.

A source close to FIFA said that on Thursday morning the organization’s lawyers had delivered a letter to prosecutors agreeing to quickly unseal the emails of Jerome Valcke, FIFA’s recently-suspended secretary general.

Sep 23, 2015

Swiss authorities ask FIFA for access to suspended general secretary’s emails

ZURICH (Reuters) – Switzerland’s Attorney General Michael Lauber has formally asked FIFA to give investigators access to the email accounts of the global soccer organization’s suspended General Secretary Jerome Valcke.”The Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland (OAG) has requested FIFA to get access to all email accounts of Jerome Valcke,” a spokesman for the office said in an email.”These email accounts are under seal by FIFA so far. The OAG has not received access to J. Valcke’s email accounts until today due to FIFA sealing them.”Valcke, the second-in-command to President Sepp Blatter at FIFA, was put on leave and “released from his duties” last Thursday after allegations he was involved in a plan to re-sell 2014 World Cup tickets at a big mark-up, pending an investigation by the FIFA ethics committee.A source close to FIFA said late on Wednesday in response to questions from Reuters that it was never the organization’s intent to withhold Valcke’s emails from prosecutors and that it was likely they will be handed over to the Attorney General’s office on Thursday. A FIFA spokesperson said: “We are committed to collaborating with the authorities and it is an ongoing process.”Access to emails could give Swiss investigators insight into potentially valuable information about Valcke’s work, and that of other officials, within the troubled body.Swiss investigators have been looking into FIFA corruption in a parallel probe to that being carried out by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). In May the DOJ indicted 14 soccer officials and sports marketing executives on a series of corruption-related charges, with seven arrested in Zurich just before a FIFA congress.Valcke, a 54-year-old Frenchman, has been in the job for the past eight years and is the highest profile figure in the corruption-plagued organization to be targeted during the current series of scandals.Ticket dealer Benny Alon produced documents last week claiming there was a deal between his company, JB Sports Marketing, and Valcke. The former Israeli soccer player said he agreed in 2013 to pay cash to Valcke to secure plum World Cup tickets in Brazil. He said the plan was to then to sell the tickets to fans at a markup and split the proceeds with Valcke, though he added that the deal was never completed.”As for JB Sports Marketing, FIFA has delivered information to the OAG,” said the spokesman for the OAG.Valcke’s lawyer last week “unequivocally” denied the allegations, labeling them as “fabricated and outrageous”.The Valcke case was handed over on Thursday to the Investigatory Chamber of FIFA’s Ethics Committee and he could face a possible ban from future involvement in the game if he is found to have broken FIFA ethics rules.Lauber said last week that his investigation had so far gathered around 11 terabytes of electronic data and that 121 different bank accounts have been flagged for suspicious activity.The Attorney General also said that his office had conducted house searches in western Switzerland and seized apartments in the Swiss mountains that may have been used to launder money.

(Writing by Simon Evans; Edited by Martin Howell)

Sep 23, 2015

Soccer-Swiss authorities ask FIFA for access to suspended general secretary’s emails

ZURICH, Sept 23 (Reuters) – Switzerland’s Attorney General Michael Lauber has formally asked FIFA to give investigators access to the email accounts of the global soccer organization’s suspended General Secretary Jerome Valcke.

“The Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland (OAG) has requested FIFA to get access to all email accounts of Jerome Valcke,” a spokesman for the office said in an email.

Sep 18, 2015

FIFA suspends number-two official after ticket allegations

ZURICH/NEW YORK (Reuters) – World football body FIFA put Jerome Valcke, its second-ranking official, on leave on Thursday just hours after an ex-footballer raised allegations he was involved in a plan to resell 2014 World Cup tickets for a lucrative profit.

FIFA, which has been rocked by Swiss and U.S. corruption investigations, said in a statement it was made aware of allegations involving Valcke and had requested a formal investigation by the FIFA ethics committee.

Sep 17, 2015

FIFA puts Secretary General Jerome Valcke on leave

ZURICH/NEW YORK (Reuters) – World football body FIFA put Secretary General Jerome Valcke on leave on Thursday just hours after an ex-footballer raised allegations Valcke may have been involved in an improper deal to resell 2014 World Cup tickets for a lucrative profit.

FIFA, which has been rocked by ongoing corruption investigations by Swiss and U.S. authorities, said in a statement it was made aware of allegations involving Valcke and has requested a formal investigation by the FIFA ethics committee.

Sep 17, 2015

Soccer’s FIFA puts Secretary General Jerome Valcke on leave

ZURICH/NEW YORK (Reuters) – World soccer body FIFA put Secretary General Jerome Valcke on leave on Thursday just hours after an ex-footballer raised allegations Valcke may have been involved in an improper deal to resell 2014 World Cup tickets for a lucrative profit.

FIFA, which has been rocked by ongoing corruption investigations by Swiss and U.S. authorities, said in a statement it was made aware of allegations involving Valcke and has requested a formal investigation by the FIFA ethics committee.

Sep 15, 2015

FIFA received no profit sharing from 2005 contract: letter

ZURICH (Reuters) – Soccer world governing body FIFA was due half of the advertising revenue from a 2005 media deal it signed with a Caribbean soccer organization but did not receive any of it, according to a termination letter sent by FIFA.

The contract was signed between FIFA and the Caribbean Football Union and involved media rights in parts of the Caribbean for the 2010 and 2014 World Cup competitions.

Sep 14, 2015

Prosecutors demand independent probe of Argentine investigator’s death

ZURICH, Sept 14 (Reuters) – The head of a global prosecutors
group on Monday demanded an independent investigation into the
death earlier this year of the Argentine prosecutor looking into
the bombing of a Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires.

Alberto Nisman was found dead under unexplained
circumstances in January after accusing Argentina’s president,
Cristina Fernandez, of trying to cover up Iran’s alleged role in
the 1994 bombing.

Sep 14, 2015

Swiss to probe contract signed by FIFA’s Blatter: officials

Zurich/New York (Reuters) – The Swiss Attorney General’s Office will investigate a contract for media rights to the 2010 and 2014 World Cups, two Swiss law enforcement officials said over the weekend.

The inquiry follows a television news report asserting that FIFA sold the rights for rates far below market to a Caribbean soccer organization, whose leader then resold them for much more.