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Geneva court convicts Kuwaiti Olympic official of fraud

The Kuwaiti Olympic official is a powerful figure in international sports. Keystone / Rq

A Swiss criminal court has convicted international sports powerbroker Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah of forgery. 

This content was published on September 10, 2021 - 16:11
Reuters/jc

The court in Geneva handed down a 30-month sentence, half of which is to be served in jail.

The 58-year-old Sheikh, a former energy minister and prominent member of the ruling family in Kuwait, denied all charges in the trial over whether he used a bogus Kuwaiti coup plot to gain advantage over political rivals. He has said he will appeal Friday’s court verdict. 

Sheikh Ahmad temporarily resigned his membership of the International Olympics Committee (IOC) after Geneva’s public prosecutor filed charges against him and four others. But in March 2019 he was re-elected as president of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), despite the case in Switzerland. 

According to the charges, Sheikh Ahmad is accused of orchestrating an intricate scheme using falsified video recordings to prove that the former Prime Minister of Kuwait and the Speaker of Parliament were preparing a coup d'état and had stolen public funds.  

The Kuwaiti allegedly gave broadcast rights of the videos to a shell company which eventually filed a lawsuit claiming the videos were fake. The aim of the scheme was to obtain a ruling by a Swiss judge on the authenticity of the video. The favourable ruling was then presented as evidence in Kuwait that the video was genuine.   

The criminal fraud case was launched in Switzerland as one of the sheikh's co-defendants was, at the time of the alleged coup plot, a Geneva-based lawyer who acted for Sheikh Ahmad. The sheikh is one of five defendants in the trial, which opened on August 30. 

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