Court sentenced IOC boss Bach’s helpers

The once influential sports official Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, one of the helpers in the election of Thomas Bach as IOC President, has been sentenced by a Swiss court to at least 13 months in prison for falsifying explosive videos.

The three-person panel of judges in Geneva saw it as proven that Al-Sabah and four other people had used misleading recordings of two Kuwaiti government members for their own benefit, the AP news agency reported on Friday. Al-Sabah was the sole beneficiary of the forgery, judged the presiding judge Delphine Gonseth.

Another 15 months were suspended. In doing so, the court went beyond the six months imprisonment required by the prosecutors. Al-Sabah immediately announced that it would appeal. “I will not stop because I am innocent,” said the member of the ruling family of Kuwait.

If the guilty verdict against the Sheikh remains, his career in the Olympic world should be over. Al-Sabah had already suspended his membership in the International Olympic Committee (IOC) because of the proceedings and ethics investigations against him.

The 58-year-old was, among other things, head of the umbrella organization of the National Olympic Committees (ANOC) and between 2015 and 2017 a member of the executive branch of the world football association FIFA. In 2013, thanks to his influence behind the scenes, he was considered a decisive supporter in the election of the German Bach to the top of the IOC.

The background to the proceedings in Switzerland were allegations by Al-Sabah against a former Prime Minister of Kuwait and a government spokesman of having embezzled public funds and attempted an overthrow. The evidence videos and documents he presented later turned out to be falsified. Al-Sabah apologized for this on Kuwait state television in 2015.

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