Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini cleared of fraud charges in FIFA trial
A Swiss court Friday acquitted former FIFA president Sepp Blatter and former UEFA president Michel Platini on charges of defrauding FIFA.
Driving the news: "Following the decision of the judges of the Court of Bellinzona, this morning, I wanted to express my happiness for all my loved ones that justice has finally been done after seven years of lies and manipulation," Platini said in a statement, per AP.
- "The truth has come to light during this trial."
- Swiss prosecutors accused Blatter of unlawfully paying Platini about $2 million from FIFA, and the pair faced charges of fraud, mismanagement, misappropriation and forgery of a document.
- Swiss prosecutor Thomas Hildbrand sought a 20-month suspended sentence for Blatter and Platini, AP notes.
Catch up quick: Swiss prosecutors said Platini was a consultant for Blatter from 1998 and 2002 and received annual compensation of 300,000 Swiss francs from FIFA in a payment that was agreed upon by both men, Axios' Jacob Knutson reports.
- Eight years later, Platini demanded back payment of 2 million Swiss francs, and FIFA made the payment with Blatter's approval.
- Swiss prosecutors said the payment "damaged FIFA's assets and unlawfully enriched Platini."
What they're saying: "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," Platini said.
- "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."
Go deeper: Former top FIFA officials indicted by Swiss prosecutors