Ahmad Trial Delayed in Geneva

(ATR) A Swiss court delays a trial for IOC member Sheikh Ahmad, facing charges that could send him to prison.

(ATR) A Swiss court orders a delay in the long anticipated trial of Kuwaiti Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al Sabah. The IOC member and president of the Olympic Council of Asia was to stand trial in Geneva, Switzerland this week, accused in a scheme more than six years ago of creating false evidence that fellow members of the Kuwait royal family were plotting a coup.

The trial is taking place in Geneva because Ahmad is accused of using three Swiss lawyers to carry out the crime. The charges say Ahmad got the attorneys to falsely authenticate a video purportedly showing the former prime minister and another official plotting the overthrow of the Emir of Kuwait.

Ahmad was formally charged in November 2018 and promptly self-suspended his IOC membership as well as the presidency of the Association of National Olympic Committees. He remains president of the Olympic Council of Asia.

The delay in the trial was forced by the admission of one of the defendants that he lacked legal counsel. The court decreed that he get a lawyer but did not set a date for the resumption of the trial, expected within a few weeks.

Ahmad appeared in the Geneva courtroom but did not make any comment to media. An attorney for the prosecution said he was not surprised at the last minute change, according to AP.

Ahmad denies the charges and his attorney told the court Monday that he has no fear of facing the accusations in court.

If he is found guilty Ahmad could face a prison sentence of up to five years. That would likely end permanently his IOC position. Elected to the IOC in 1992, he succeeded his father on the IOC and as OCA president after he was killed in the 1991 war with Iraq. Sheikh Ahmad, 58, is tenth in seniority among the 103 IOC members.

Reported by Ed Hula.