Swiss, Qatar criminal justice officials step up cooperation

BERN, Switzerland (AP) — Authorities say that Switzerland and Qatar will increase cooperation in criminal investigations.

Switzerland’s federal justice department says that “these efforts are also in the interests of a clean Swiss financial center.”

The federal office said Thursday that it hosted Qatar’s attorney general, Ali Bin Fetais Al Marri, this week to sign a working agreement on mutual assistance, including direct contact in future cases between justice officials in the two countries.

Since 2014, Swiss prosecutors have investigated suspected money laundering linked to FIFA’s World Cup bidding process that led to Qatar being picked to host the tournament in 2022 and Russia in 2018.

A spinoff from the FIFA case saw Swiss prosecutors open criminal proceedings last year against Qatari soccer and television executive Nasser al-Khelaifi for suspected bribery. He denies wrongdoing.

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