Expatica news

Sheikh Ahmad reelected to Olympics body despite Swiss probe

Kuwait’s former Minister of Energy Sheikh Ahmad al-Fahd Al-Sabah has been reelected as president of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), despite an arbitration charge pending against him in Switzerland. 

Last November, Sheikh Ahmad had temporarily resigned from his membership of the International Olympics Committee (IOC) after Geneva’s public prosecutor filed charges against him and four others for misuse of the Swiss judicial system.  

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.  

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”. 

Sheikh Ahmad, a nephew of the Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, said he was “ready” to attend the hearing due to be held in Geneva in 2019. 

The OCA told the Reuters press agency that its Ethics Commission had reviewed the accusations against Sheikh Ahmad and had cleared him based on the available evidence.  He was reelected on Sunday at the OCA General Assembly in Bangkok.