Ex-secretary general sets his sights on post as FIVB president


After his acquittal of charges of forgery, ex-secretary general Jean-Pierre Seppey announced his intentions of taking over the presidency of the International Volleyball Federation from the Mexican Ruben Acosta.

By Philippe Maspoli, 24 heures

"I am throwing myself into the race about the presidency. The FIVB must join the 21st century with its modern ideas. It is time for Acosta to lie down."

Yesterday, former FIVB secretary general Jean-Pierre Seppey was flapping his wings outside the courts in Lausanne He had just been acquitted in the case about the 2000-2001 annual report for FIVB from which a document describing 8.3 million Swiss francs paid in commissions to Ruben Acosta for sponsor and television contracts had been removed.

In October, national volleyball federations will gather in Tokoy for the annual congres of FIVB, and here the 46 year old Seppey will challenge the Mexican Ruben Acosta for the presidency of the third largest sports federation with headquarters in Lausanne. Acosta has been president for 22 years and is now 72 years old and ill.

Seppey was brutally fired from his post as secretary general of FIVB in August last year and is now demanding 6.9 million Swiss francs from his former employers of which 5.4 million Swiss francs relates to sponsor and television rights.

But is that not a self-contradictory act for a man who has declared that he will stop the president and secretary general of FIVB from receiving commissions in the future?

"If I get elected, I may very well decide to give up on my civil lawsuit," says Seppey and adds:

"That is also why I have announced that I will give a third of my compensation to the poorest 120 national federations."

Jean-Pierre Seppey is counting on support from the poorest natioanl federations in the race against other powerful candidates who are likely to announce their candidature before the elections in October.

Acquittal by the backdoor
Out of the three charged with manipulating the FIVB annual report for 2000, only Jean-Pierre Seppey was completely acquitted by judge Michel Carrard.

President Ruben Acosta and a former controller in FIVB were also acquitted but each had to pay 4300 Swiss francs to cover legal costs.

The judge did find it was forgery to remove a document which mentions commissions to the amount of 8.3 million Swiss francs from a report intended for the FIVB congress. But the judge also found no proof of intent to do damage or benefit unlawfully from the act and therefore he could not impose a sentence.

Elie Elkaim, lawyer for the former president of the former Argentine Volleyball Federation, Mario Goijman, called the judge's decision an "acquittal by the backdoor."

"This proces has shown how the international federations work. There is still a lot of work to do to ensure transparency and democracy."

Previous news articles about the Volleygate case:

FIVB-president demands an end to "game of vindictiveness"

FIVB heavyweights point fingers at controller

Former finance secretary feels hoodwinked by Acosta

Volleygate judge will only hear witnesses for defence

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