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Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini cleared of fraud by Swiss Court

Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini cleared of fraud by Swiss Court, UncensoredGH.com

Former FIFA executives, Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini, have both been cleared of fraud by a Swiss Court after seven years.

The 86-year-old and 67-year-old respectively stood trial over a payment of 2m Swiss francs (£1.6m) made by Blatter to Platini in 2011.

They denied wrongdoing and said the payment was a late payment for Platini’s advisory work for FIFA.

“I am not innocent in my life, but in this case I am innocent.” Blatter said to the court on Friday.

Blatter and the former UEFA president Platini, 67, were banned from football in 2015.

The trial which was opened in 2015 at the Federal Criminal Court in Bellinzona was concluded on 22 June.

“I wanted to express my happiness for all my loved ones that justice has finally been done after seven years of lies and manipulation,” said Platini.

“The truth has come to light during this trial and I deeply thank the judges of the tribunal for the independence of their decision.

“I kept saying it – my fight is a fight against injustice. I won a first game.

“In this case, there are culprits who did not appear during this trial. Let them count on me, we will meet again because I will not give up and I will go all the way in my quest for truth.”

Michel Platini was a French international footballer and a three-time Ballon d’Or winner. He captained France to the European Championship in 1984.

He became a coach of the French national team and became Uefa president in 2007.

Blatter is a Swiss businessman who joined FIFA in 1975 as a sports administrator. He became general secretary in 1981 and then president of world football’s governing body in 1998.

He was president for 17 years and, following an investigation by Fifa’s ethics committee, received a ban from football for eight years – later reduced to six.

A written judgement published by the court stated: “After examining and evaluating all evidence and circumstantial evidence as well as hearing various witnesses in the main hearing, the criminal court came to the conclusion that the result of the evidence supports the version of the accused [Blatter and Platini].

“The facts of the indictment cannot therefore be considered to have been created with a probability bordering on certainty.”

Fifa responded and said it “takes note of the verdict” and “will await the full reasoned judgement before commenting further”.

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