This is a first challenge that could lead to others. After seven years of investigation, an indictment was pronounced by French justice in the sprawling file of “Qatargate”, learned The world. It concerns the Polynesian part of the judicial investigation opened, in 2019, for “corruption, money laundering, concealment and fraud” by the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office (PNF) on the controversial award, in 2010, of the 2022 World Cup football in Qatar.
According to our information, the investigating judges Serge Tournaire and Virginie Tilmont sent a letter on Monday, May 22, to the former Tahitian vice-president of the International Federation of Football Association (FIFA) and former head of the Oceanian Football Confederation (OFC), Reynald Temarii, his indictment in this case, for “passive private corruption”.
Initially placed, in 2021, under the status of assisted witness, Mr. Temarii, 55, is suspected by the magistrates of having signed, at the end of 2010, a pact with the Qatari billionaire Mohamed Ben Hammam, known as “MBH”, then vice -president of FIFA and patron of the Asian Football Confederation, “in return for supporting Qatar’s bid to host the 2022 World Cup”. Contacted, Mr. Temarii’s lawyer, Gilles Jourdainne,“took note of the notice of indictment, but does not have, to date, the motivation to make a comment”.
“It is a good thing to learn that the case is progressing and that it will help to clarify the questions that arise over time”says Jean-Baptiste Soufron, Anticor’s lawyer, civil party in this case.
305,440 euros were paid “in a hidden way”
At the end of the preliminary investigation carried out between 2016 and 2019 by the prosecutor Jean-Yves Lourgouilloux, the PNF suspected Mr. Ben Hammam, 74, of having tried to “neutralize a vote in favor of Qatar’s competitors”on December 2, 2010, by paying the defense costs of Mr. Temarii, suspended for “disloyalty” by the FIFA ethics committee, a few weeks before the vote.
The PNF believed that MBH encouraged Mr. Temarii, who no longer had the right to vote, to appeal his sanction, in order to “to block the appointment of a new representative” of the OFC, hostile to Qatar during the allocation vote.
In total, 305,440 euros were paid “occultly” for Mr. Temarii’s legal fees by MBH through two Qatari and Lebanese companies, in two installments in February and April 2011, to the Swiss account of JCB Consulting International, a company of Jean-Charles Brisard, consultant specializing in economic intelligence and terrorist networks.