War crimes prosecutor nominated as FIFA investigator

Top international prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo, best known for pursuing war criminals, has been nominated as chief investigator at FIFA, soccer's scandal-plagued governing body, with a brief to probe match-fixing and corruption.

FIFA's executive committee is due to discuss the appointment of a chief investigator within the next few weeks as part of a proposed clean-up following a string of graft cases.

In March, FIFA's executive approved plans to split the ethics committee, which looks into wrongdoing by officials, into separate divisions with one to investigate cases and one to judge them.

Moreno-Ocampo, whose term as chief prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague ends in June, has been nominated to head the investigations team, said Mark Pieth, a professor from the Swiss-based Institute of Governance.

Pieth heads a 13-member panel created last year to oversee changes in the way Swiss-based FIFA is run. Reform of FIFA's ethics committee was one of his main proposals and he has been highly critical of how FIFA has handled past corruption cases.

Argentinian Moreno-Ocampo, 59 and a avid soccer fan, recently told reporters he would probably take up a university teaching post when his term at the ICC ended.

At the ICC, the world's first permanent war crimes court, Moreno-Ocampo has described his job as ensuring that the leaders and generals who are wanted for genocide and crimes against humanity get "a one-way ticket" to The Hague.

The court wrapped up its first case in March, convicting Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga Dyilo of using child soldiers in the Democratic Republic of Congo and it is pursuing cases against several other African warlords and politicians including Laurent Gbagbo, former president of Ivory Coast.

Before moving to the ICC, Moreno-Ocampo held positions at Transparency International and was involved when practising law in Argentina in prosecuting military commanders for mass killings and other serious human rights abuses.

(Editing by Louise Ireland)