Swiss court acquits beIN media group chairman Nasser al-Khelaifi

Al-Khelaifi, also president of France’s Paris Saint-Germain club, was cleared of charges involving the sale of TV rights.

The trial at the Swiss Federal Criminal Court was not connected to al-Khelaifi's role at Paris St Germain [File: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP]
The trial at the Swiss Federal Criminal Court was not connected to al-Khelaifi's role at Paris St Germain [File: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP]

A Swiss court has acquitted the chairman of Qatar-based beIN media group of charges relating to the awarding of television rights for the Football World Club, his lawyers said.

Nasser al-Khelaifi had been accused of inciting former FIFA Secretary-General Jerome Valcke to commit aggravated mismanagement.

“It is suspected that Jerome Valcke accepted undue advantages from a businessman in the sports rights sector in connection with the award of media rights for certain countries at the FIFA World Cups in 2018, 2022, 2026 and 2030, and from Nasser al-Khelaifi in connection with the award of media rights for certain countries at the FIFA World Cups in 2026 and 2030,” the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland said in October 2017.

The Qatar-based broadcaster had consistently denied the accusations.

The trial at the Swiss Federal Criminal Court was not connected to al-Khelaifi’s role as president at Paris St Germain.

The court has yet to release an official notice on the ruling.

“After a relentless four-year campaign against me that ignored the basic facts and the law at every turn – I have finally, fully and completely cleared my name. Today’s verdict is a total vindication,” al-Khelaifi said in a statement issued by his lawyer.

“It restores my faith in the rule of law and in due process after four years of baseless allegations, fictitious charges and constant smears of my reputation.”

The court was also expected to return a verdict on Friday on Valcke, who has been charged with accepting bribes, aggravated criminal mismanagement, and falsification of documents. Valcke has denied wrongdoing

Source : News Agencies

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