FILE PHOTO: Sheikh Ahmed al-Fahd al-Ahmad al-Sabah arrives at a court of law before a forgery trial regarding arbitration in Geneva, Switzerland August 30, 2021.
September 10, 2021
by Emma Farge
GENEVA (Reuters) – A Swiss criminal court will decide on Friday whether Sheikh Ahmed al-Fahd al-Sabah, a power broker in international sports, used a bogus Kuwaiti coup plot to gain an advantage over political rivals.
The forgery case has divided the Kuwaiti ruling family and prompted 58-year-old Sheikh Ahmed to step back from some of his public sporting roles, including membership of the International Olympic Committee https://www.reuters.com/article/uk -olympics-ioc-idukkcn1no168.
The criminal fraud case was initiated in Switzerland because one of Sheikh’s co-defendants, at the time of the alleged coup plot, was a Geneva-based lawyer who worked for Sheikh Ahmed.
Sheikh, a former OPEC secretary general and a member of the leading ruling family, is one of five defendants in the trial that began on August 30. Other defendants cannot be named for legal reasons.
The three-judge panel is expected to issue its verdict on Friday afternoon. The public prosecutor is seeking a jail term of up to 30 months for Sheikh Ahmed, of which at least six months will have to be served.
Sheikh denies all charges and his lawyers have asked a Geneva court to acquit his client. He declined to comment further. If convicted, defendants have the right to appeal.
The case revolves around a video showing former Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed and former parliament speaker Jasim Al-Kharafi plotting to overthrow the then Emir of Kuwait.
Prosecutors allege that Sheikh Ahmed knew the videos given to Kuwaiti authorities were fake.
“(Sheikh Ahmed) acted to illegally promote his position, that is, to demonstrate that the videos submitted to the Kuwaiti authorities were authentic,” the indictment said.
Sheikh Ahmed told the court last week that he had handed over the videos to Kuwaiti authorities at the time believing they were authentic.
In 2015, he publicly apologized via Kuwait TV to the Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed, Al-Kharafi and their families for their role in the case, saying he felt the videos were genuine and credible. .
(Additional reporting by Ahmed Haggi in Kuwait; Editing by John Boyle)