Corruption News

Al-Khelaïfi acquitted again, Valcke guilty in FIFA retrial


GENEVA (AP) — Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser al-Khelaïfi was acquitted in Switzerland on Friday for a second time in a retrial of alleged wrongdoing linked to former FIFA secretary general Jérôme Valcke.

Al-Khelaïfi was cleared again of a charge of incitement to commit aggravated criminal mismanagement for allowing Valcke to use a vacation home in Sardinia rent free. Prosecutors tried to link the home, bought by a Qatari company in 2013, to Al-Khelaïfi-led broadcaster beIN Media Group getting a renewed World Cup rights deal from FIFA.

Valcke, who was FIFA’s top administrator for eight years until being removed in 2015, was acquitted again of criminal mismanagement and convicted on separate charges not involving Al-Khelaïfi. They relate to taking kickbacks in negotiations for World Cup broadcast rights in Italy and Greece.

The Swiss federal criminal court found Valcke guilty of repeated forgery and passive corruption. He was given a longer suspended sentence — 11 months instead of three — than he received after the original trial in September 2020.

Lawyers for Valcke said in a statement he would appeal and “the guilty verdict is therefore in no way final.”

A third defendant, Greek marketing executive Dinos Deris, was convicted of active corruption and given a 10-month suspended sentence after first being acquitted in 2020. He was again cleared of inciting Valcke to mismanagement against FIFA’s interests.

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