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Dispute between Fifa and Swiss prosecutors over emails takes a new turn
[ZURICH] A dispute over access to emails which erupted late Wednesday between Switzerland's top prosecutor and soccer's global governing body Fifa took a new turn on Thursday with Fifa claiming it was ready to cooperate and prosecutors still accusing it of obstruction.
A source close to Fifa said that on Thursday morning the organization's lawyers had delivered a letter to prosecutors agreeing to quickly unseal the emails of Jerome Valcke, Fifa's recently-suspended secretary general.
The Fifa source said prosecutors already had the encyrpted copies of Valcke emails and that in its letter, Fifa agreed that the material would immediately be unsealed.
But Andre Marty, a spokesman for the Office of Attorney General Michael Lauber, said Fifa had attached several unspecified "conditions" to its promise to give Fifa access to the emails.
In practice, therefore, "the (Office of Attorney General) has still no access as requested" to Valcke's email accounts, the spokesman said.
The Fifa source insisted that Fifa was willing to give prosecutors all of Valcke's emails, and expressed puzzlement at prosecutors' continued complaints of non-cooperation.
A Fifa spokesperson didn't immediately return requests for a comment.
Fifa suspended Valcke indefinitely from his post as number two to Fifa President Sepp Blatter last week after ticket broker and former Israeli soccer player Benny Alon alleged to journalists that he agreed in 2013 to pay cash to Valcke to secure plum World Cup tickets for the 2014 competition in Brazil.
Alon said the plan was then to sell the tickets to fans at a markup and split the proceeds with Valcke, though he added that the deal was never completed.
Valcke's lawyer last week "unequivocally" denied the allegations, labeling them as "fabricated and outrageous".