Shivangi Prakash-

Published on : September 11, 2021 at 12:50 IST

Kuwaiti Olympic power broker Sheikh Ahmad al-Fahad al-Sabah was found guilty of Forgery on Friday in connection with exposing political opponents in a coup plan, putting his long career in global sports politics in jeopardy.

Sheikh Ahmad, his former English lawyer, a Kuwaiti aide, and two additional lawyers were found guilty of forgery in connection with a false arbitration case in Geneva.

In a case that has put much of his Olympic work on wait for almost three years, Sheikh was sentenced to approximately 14 months in prison with a further 15 months suspended.

I know I didn’t do anything. I will wait for the appeal [and] my rights,” Sheikh Ahmad said on leaving Court, adding he would return to Geneva to challenge his conviction. “I will never stop because I believe I am innocent.”

Sheikh manufactured a legal dispute and arbitration hearing in Geneva in 2014 to obtain a favourable verdict, according to a panel of three Judges.

It aimed to verify video recordings showing two Kuwaiti politicians, including a former prime minister, discussing a possible coup attempt in the oil-rich country. For treason, the two men could have faced the death penalty.

Sheikh Ahmad was the sole beneficiary of the bogus arbitration, according to presiding Judge Delphine Gonseth.

Sheikh was sentenced to six months in prison, with a further two years suspended, which was harsher than the public prosecution had wanted.

Sheikh Ahmad has led the Asian Olympic Council, which his father founded, since 1991. After joining the International Olympic Committee a year later, he was elected president of the ANOC in 2012. From 2015 to 2017, he was a member of FIFA’s executive committee.

Sheikh was a big backer of current International Olympic Committee(IOC)  President Thomas Bach’s candidacy in 2013 and chaired an IOC commission that pays hundreds of millions of dollars to Olympic athletes and teams.

The IOC chief ethics and compliance officer is now reviewing the court judgement,” the IOC said on Friday.

On Aug 31, Sheikh Ahmad was questioned in court and stated that he trusted his attorneys and signed the paperwork that were handed to him.

Francois Carrard, a long-time IOC legal counsel, was scheduled to testify in court last week in support of Sheikh Ahmad. His late cancellation was attributed to a medical concern.

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