Kuwaiti ex-minister resigns from IOC after false arbitration charge

Sheikh Ahmed (left) is said to be close to IOC President Thomas Bach Keystone

Kuwait’s former Minister of Energy, Sheikh Ahmad al-Fahd Al-Sabah, has “temporarily” suspended his activities as a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Monday after a false arbitration charge in Switzerland. 

This content was published on November 19, 2018 - 13:25

In a statement issued on Monday, Sheikh Ahmad, who is close to IOC President Thomas Bach, "strongly denied any wrongdoing" and said that the accusations were "maliciously motivated by political factions in Kuwait". The former energy minister is a nephew of the Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah. He chairs the Olympic Solidarity Commission, which distributes funds to athletes. 

The decision to step aside came after Sheikh Ahmad and four other people, including three lawyers, were accused over the weekend of having set up a false arbitration in Switzerland in 2013. 

According to the charges, the long-time IOC member is accused of orchestrating an intricate scheme using falsified video recordings to prove the former Prime Minister of Kuwait and the Speaker of Parliament were preparing a coup d'état and had stolen public funds. According to the charges, Sheikh Ahmad gave broadcast rights of the videos to a shell company, that 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 ruling was then presented as evidence in Kuwait that the video was genuine. 

Sheikh Ahmad said he was "ready" to attend the hearing to be held in Geneva in 2019. A member of the IOC for 26 years, he also wishes to be heard by the IOC Ethics Commission.

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