Swiss attorney general is called for questioning in next stage of impeachment process


ZURICH (Reuters) – Swiss Attorney General Michael Lauber has been called in for questioning over how he handled an investigation into corruption surrounding the world soccer body FIFA, a step towards his possible impeachment.

“The judicial committee has decided to hear Attorney General Michel Lauber at its next meeting,” the parliamentary committee said on Wednesday.

“It will then decide whether to open impeachment proceedings against him.” The committee’s next meeting is due to take place on May 20.

The committee of lawmakers from both houses of the Swiss parliament took note of a highly critical report by the attorney general’s independent watchdog (AB-BA), as well as Lauber’s counter arguments.

The watchdog’s report said Lauber, who has been attorney general since 2012, has committed serious breaches of his duties including lying, acting disloyally and obstructing AB-BA’s investigation, the committee said.

“For his part, Michael Lauber denies the form and content of the accusations made against him and accuses the AB-BA of numerous procedural errors, exceeding its authority, and bias, among other things,” the judicial committee said in a statement.

Lauber has been accused by anti-corruption campaigners of bungling a fraud trial over payments linked to the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

The case has clouded the international reputation of Switzerland’s judicial system, which is also probing high-level corruption cases linked to the Brazilian state oil firm Petrobras and the Malaysian state development fund 1MDB.

(This story corrects misspelling of Lauber’s name in first paragraph.)

Reporting by John Revill in Zurich; Editing by Matthew Lewis and Kevin Liffey