(ATR) The corruption trial of Lamine Diack and his son, scheduled to begin on Monday after a four-year investigation by the French Financial Prosecutor’s Office, has been pushed back until June.
Diack, 86, is accused of bribery and money laundering to purchase the votes of IOC members for Olympic host cities. He is also implicated in the cover-up of doping violations of Russian athletes while he was president of the athletics federation IAAF, now known as World Athletics.
Diack, a former member of the IOC, is accused along with five other people including his son Papa Massata. The younger Diack remains in Senegal where he has managed to escape extradition to France. But he did give testimony in Senegal in November. His statements and other new documents were presented to the Paris court on Monday. The court postponed the trial to give all parties in the case time to review the new evidence.
Two of the remaining four co-defendants in the trial -- former IAAF anti-doping chief Gabrile Dolle and Diack’s former legal advisor Habib Cisse – were in court on Monday. The other two, Russians Valentin Balakhnichev and Alexei Melnikov, have stayed in Moscow. They are being tried in absentia.
The BBC is reporting that World Athletics is seeking $45.9 million from the six defendants, claiming loss of sponsorship revenue, damage to reputation and potential loss of earnings.
All of the defendants maintain their innocence.
The elder Diack, who has been under house arrest in France for more than four years, appealed to the court to let him return to Senegal but the request was denied.
Written by Gerard Farek
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