Bern (AFP)

Michel Platini has since found Swiss justice since Monday, as a suspect in the case that broke his leadership, before testifying Wednesday in a separate file targeting the boss of Fifa Gianni Infantino.

Shortly before 8:00 GMT, under a sky mixing rain and snow, the triple Ballon d'Or rushed into the building of the Public Ministry of the Confederation (MPC) in Bern, accompanied by his lawyer Dominic Nellen.

He must respond until Tuesday to prosecutor Thomas Hildebrand, who is suing him for a suspicious payment of 2 million Swiss francs (1.8 million euros), alongside former FIFA president Sepp Blatter.

According to the prosecution, this will be the final hearing of the French "before the end of the investigation", according to the prosecution.

Platini will then either be exonerated or sent back to court to stand trial.

The legendary number 10 of the Blues is suspected of "swindle", "unfair management", "breach of trust" and "forgery in the titles", charges extended in November and punishable by five years in prison.

Sepp Blatter was also to be heard for this case but he is recovering after being hospitalized in December and January, according to his entourage.

- Inconsistency -

At the heart of the case, opened in 2015 and which banished the two leaders from world football, the payment by Fifa of 2 million Swiss francs to Michel Platini in early 2011, without written justification, on the order of Sepp Blatter.

Former allies who have become rivals, Blatter and Platini have always maintained that it was a balance of payment for an advisory job carried out by the French between 1999 and 2002.

According to the two men, the agreement between them dates back to the spring of 1998: Sepp Blatter, who joined Fifa in 1975 as director of development but lacked sporting legitimacy, was seeking the support of the ex-champion to take the head of the team. 'instance.

But Fifa deplores the absence of a written contract mentioning at the time such remuneration, and demands reimbursement from Michel Platini.

There is certainly a written "agreement" signed in 1999, but it only provides for an annual salary of 300,000 Swiss francs for Michel Platini.

Both Platini and Blatter have since explained this inconsistency by referring to the "liquidity problems" experienced by Fifa at the time.

They would therefore have orally expected that the additional salary would be paid subsequently, simply neglecting to specify it in writing, reported the Court of Arbitration for Sport in a decision rendered in 2016.

- 'Conspiracy' -

"Since 2015, Michel Platini has been: witness, assisted witness, officially exonerated by the same MPC in 2018, then suspect interviewed on the basis of suspicions that were raised during the last hearings," lamented his entourage at the end of November to AFP.

If the French does not rule out a return to sporting responsibilities, confident in his chances of being cleared, his defense has asked for the challenge of prosecutor Hildebrand, Le Monde newspaper said on Sunday.

Broke on the rise, Michel Platini is convinced of having been the victim of a plot mounted by Gianni Infantino, his former deputy when he was managing UEFA, to exclude him from the race for the presidency of Fifa.

But the former champion is also summoned Wednesday to Sarnen, in central Switzerland, this time as "person called to give information" in the investigation targeting his former rival since July 2020, according to information from the World confirmed by the parquet.

This section concerns three secret meetings in 2016 and 2017 between Mr. Infantino and the former Attorney General Michael Lauber, which fueled suspicions of collusion between the Swiss prosecution and Fifa.

Cleared by the internal justice of the instance, Italo-Switzerland considers it "absurd" to be implicated for having met a magistrate.

But the leader is now under the threat of a second case, to have returned by private jet from Suriname to Switzerland, in 2017, at the expense of Fifa.

Prosecutor Stefan Keller, who saw this theft as a possible "unfair management" at the end of 2020, has just been appointed competent to conduct the investigation.

© 2021 AFP