September 3 – Olympic powerbroker Sheikh Ahmad al-Fahad al-Sabah, once a major player at FIFA, has once again been implicated in the FifaGate scandal that has snared a succession of high-profile figures.
In April 2017, Sheikh Ahmad resigned from the FIFA Council after being drawn into the widespread corruption probe that brought FIFA to its knees.
The sheikh, who had been seeking re-election at the time, was suspected of being a co-conspirator in the case of former Guam FA boss Richard Lai. He denied any wrongdoing and US prosecutors have still not charged him with any crimes.
The following year he was forced to step aside from his International Olympic Committee duties pending the outcome of an unrelated Swiss forgery case in which he was indicted with four others and which related to a video involving a purported plot to overthrow the Kuwaiti government.
The Associated Press is now reporting that it has seen documentation showing that Sheikh Ahmad is one of two senior Olympic officials from Kuwait to have been targeted by the US Department of Justice for suspected racketeering and bribery related.
The documents, according to AP, confirm that Sheikh Ahmad is under investigation and details payments totalling about $1 million from Kuwait to Lai, who admitted to financial conspiracy charges in federal court in April 2017 and agreed to pay $1.1 million in penalties. Lai has yet to be sentenced.
Meanwhile, Sheikh Ahmad this week is on trial in Geneva over his role in the afore-mentioned alleged Kuwait political plot, along with four other defendants. The trial is now in its second day and is scheduled to end September 10. If found guilty, he could face a prison sentence.
Sheikh Ahmad denies all charges of forgery in the case which he says was politically motivated against him. The investigation began in 2015 when a criminal complaint was filed in Geneva on behalf of Sheikh Nasser al-Sabah, Kuwait’s prime minister from 2006-11, and Jassim al-Kharafi, who has since died.
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