Qatar has spied on a former Swiss attorney general and eavesdropped on a secret meeting with the FIFA chief amid fears he could be stripped of the 2022 World Cup host.
As reported by the Swiss weekly NZZ on Sunday, Qatar staged an intelligence operation to spy on an informal meeting six years ago between then Swiss attorney general Michael Lauber and FIFA chief Gianni Infantino.
The newspaper said its months-long investigation revealed that the secret meeting in Bern on June 16, 2017, which cost Lauber his job after it was revealed, had been secretly recorded for Qatar. According to the German newspaper NZZ am Sonntag, the room where the meeting took place was equipped with microphones.
At that time, the office of Lauber was investigating allegations of massive corruption in world football.including irregularities in the decision to award Qatar the 2022 World Cup.
However, when it became known that he had three informal meetings with Infantino, including the one in 2017, he had to step down.
The meeting was held at the luxurious Schweizerhof Hotel, run by Qatari owners since 2009, in a conference room down the hall from the Qatar Embassy, noted NZZ.
Various investigations revealed that, fearing losing the right to host the 2022 World Cup due to allegations of corruption and human rights abuses, Qatar launched an international influence operation. The country spied on FIFA officials and Lauber, according to the NZZ, which claimed to have obtained “secret official documents proving the espionage action” at the Schweizerhof.
The newspaper also claimed that sources with direct knowledge of the incident described the operation, on condition of anonymity, and said it involved the codename of “Project Matterhorn” (via the Matterhorn).
The sources said the main purpose of spying was to gather incriminating material that could be used to pressure the prosecutor.
The survey adds to data revealed last November when Swiss media FRS there Swiss Detailed info that Qatar there was orchestrated a large-scale and long-running intelligence operation against officials of the Fifa in which he spent hundreds of millions of dollars in hacking operations to ensure the organization of the World Cup 2022.
As this survey revealed, the State of Qatar ordered the “Ruthless Project” to win the World Cup bid after massive criticism of FIFA awarding the tournament to the controversial country in 2010. The plan was huge: the budget was $387 million. And the activities have spread over the five continents. In fact, the highest echelons of the Qatari government have been implicated in the espionage activities, including the current head of state, the Emir of Qatar.
Documents show that the project wanted to ensure that nothing that could jeopardize the celebration of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.
For tips or news submission: firstname.lastname@example.org