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Kuwaiti Olympic power broker found guilty by Swiss court of forgery

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By AP
Sheikh Ahmad al-Fahad al-Sabah arrives at a Geneva's courthouse ahead of the verdict.
Sheikh Ahmad al-Fahad al-Sabah arrives at a Geneva's courthouse ahead of the verdict.   -   Copyright  Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP
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A senior Kuwaiti Olympics official was on Friday found guilty of forgery by a court in Geneva.

Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah of Kuwait was accused of participating in a fake legal dispute staged to verify possibly manipulated video footage.

The sham arbitration case claimed to reveal that two rival politicians were plotting a coup in Kuwait.

Sheikh Ahmad, his English former lawyer, a Kuwaiti aide, and two more lawyers were all convicted on forgery charges on Friday.

The sheikh was sentenced to almost 14 months’ jail time with a further 15 months suspended.

“I will never stop because I believe I am innocent,” he said on leaving court, adding he would return to Geneva to challenge his conviction.

The panel of three judges found that the men had staged the legal dispute and arbitration hearing in Geneva in 2014.

It was intended to implicate a former prime minister of Kuwait and a former speaker in its parliament, who could have faced the death penalty for treason.

Sheikh Ahmad leads the global group of 206 national Olympic committees (ANOC) and earned a reputation as the "kingmaker" of Olympic and international sports elections.

He has been publicly sidelined from his Olympic leadership roles and IOC membership since he was indicted in November 2018.

Sheikh Ahmad was a strong supporter in the 2013 election of current IOC president Thomas Bach. He was also an executive committee member at FIFA from 2015-17.