Ex-FIFA exec Valcke to appeal bribery conviction

FILE PHOTO: Former FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke leaves the Swiss Federal Criminal Court (Bundesstrafgericht) in Bellinzona, Switzerland, September 14, 2020. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

ZURICH (Reuters) - Former FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke will appeal against his conviction for accepting bribes in a case involving World Cup media rights, his legal team said.

A Swiss appeals court on Friday found Valcke, 61, guilty of bribery and forging documents but acquitted him of aggravated dishonest management as it handed him a suspended 11-month prison term and fine.

"Mr Valcke did not harm FIFA and his full acquittal on the counts of mismanagement has therefore logically been confirmed. Just as logically, the criminal justice system has now rejected FIFA's civil claims," his lawyers said by email.

It called the appellate court's reversal of a lower court's acquittal of Valcke in 2020 on corruption charges "a mistake and a fantasy", saying the contracts involved were favourable to FIFA and were approved at all levels of soccer's world body.

The lawyers said they would take the case to Switzerland's supreme court and the guilty verdict was thus not final.

(Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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