Swiss prosecutor indicts German, Swiss officials over 2006 World Cup scam

Source: Xinhua| 2019-08-07 02:33:00|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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GENEVA, Aug. 6 (Xinhua) -- Swiss prosecutors said Tuesday they have filed an indictment against three former German football officials and a Swiss ex-secretary general of world football's governing body, FIFA, of corruption concerning Germany's 2006 football World Cup.

The Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland (OAG) issued a statement titled "Indictment filed in connection with the German Football Association (DFB)".

It said the OAG had filed its indictment against three former officials of the non-profit DFB, Horst Rudolf Schmidt, Theo Zwanziger and Wolfgang Niersbach, and the former Swiss FIFA official Urs Linsi.

"The accused are alleged to have fraudulently misled the members of a supervisory body of the DFB organizing committee for the 2006 World Cup in Germany in April 2005 about the true purpose of a payment of around 6.7 million euros (about 10 million Swiss francs at the time which is 10.24 million U.S. dollars today)," said the statement.

All four accused deny the allegations, reported Swissinfo, the website of the Swiss national broadcaster.

The allegation centers on a 10-million-Swiss-franc loan taken out in 2002 by former German World Cup football star Franz Beckenbauer, who helped coordinate Germany's bid to stage the 2006 World Cup.

Beckenbauer also faces OAG charges, but the prosecutor's office is conducting his case separately due to health problems he faces, said the statement.

The four people named in Tuesday's indictment are accused of covering up repayment of the suspicious loan by passing it off as a contribution towards the 2006 World Cup opening ceremony.

The Swiss investigations have revealed that in 2002 Beckenbauer accepted the loan.

"This sum was used to fund various payments made via a Swiss law firm to a Qatari company belonging to Mohammed Bin Hammam."

At the time, Bin Hammam was a member of the FIFA Executive Committee and the FIFA Finance Committee, but the sport's governing body subsequently banned him from the post.

The exact purpose of the 10 million Swiss francs payment to Bin Hammam has not been determined.

The OAG said that is because a request for legal assistance it made to the Qatari authorities in September 2016 remains unanswered.