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Swiss elect new attorney general after FIFA scandal

By AFP
29 September 2021   |   1:09 pm
More than a year after losing the previous incumbent in the wake of the FIFA corruption scandal, Switzerland on Wednesday elected a new attorney general, a former police chief.

Stefan Blaettler, police commander of the Canton of Bern, speaks after police arrested Hans Peter Kneubuehl, during a news conference in Biel September 17, 2010. Kneubuehl, a 67-year-old who has been on the run for ten days for shooting and wounding a policeman, was captured on Friday morning at an open field near the city of Biel. REUTERS/Pascal Lauener (SWITZERLAND – Tags: CRIME LAW)

More than a year after losing the previous incumbent in the wake of the FIFA corruption scandal, Switzerland on Wednesday elected a new attorney general, a former police chief.

Predecessor Michael Lauber was initially removed in June 2019 from a graft investigation against world football’s governing body after evidence emerged that he had held undocumented meetings with FIFA president Gianni Infantino in 2016-2017.

Lauber, who had been in the post since 2012, eventually resigned a year later and lost his immunity from prosecution. Since then, the post of attorney general had remained empty because a parliamentary committee could not find a candidate to replace him.

On Thursday, the federal Swiss parliament eventually elected a successor, Stefan Blaettler, 62, a former Bern police chief, during a joint session of both chambers.

After a year-long search and parliament extending by an additional three years to 68 the usual retirement age for the post, he was the only candidate.

Blaettler, son of a police commissioner, took a doctorate in law at Neuchatel University before taking over the Bern police job in 2006.