Al-Khelaifi Fully Acquitted of Corruption Charges for Second Time

  • Publish date: Monday، 27 June 2022
Al-Khelaifi Fully Acquitted of Corruption Charges for Second Time

The Qatari sports official was previously acquitted in 2020.

The Swiss Supreme Court cleared beIN Media Group chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi of corruption allegations for the second time on Friday, according to a statement.

"Today's verdict is complete vindication." "After a persistent six-year prosecution effort that ignored both the basic facts and the law at every stage, our client has been entirely and completely cleared for the second time," said Marc Bonnant, Swiss attorney defending Al-Khelaifi throughout the appeal.

Al-Khelaifi, who is also the President of Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), was earlier cleared of charges brought against him in October 2020, after the prosecution sought a 28-month prison term.

In January 2021, the Swiss Public Prosecutor's Office (MPC) obtained the formal decision and submitted a declaration of appeal the following month.

The current verdict, according to Bonnant, reveals that "years of unfounded claims, bogus charges, and relentless smears" are "totally and entirely unsubstantiated."

Furthermore, former FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke and Dinos Deris, a Greek marketing firm CEO, have both been convicted. Valcke received an 11-month suspended sentence as well as a fine.

After being acquitted in the initial 2020 trial, Deris received a 10-month suspended jail term.

The allegations stem from an alleged 2013 conversation at beIN's French headquarters, during which Al-Khelaifi stated his intention to purchase a home in Sardinia for a staggering $6.06 million.

Al-Khelaifi had to hand over the villa to the French on certain conditions, while the Qatari denied buying the property in question or having promised to give it to Valcke.

In return, prosecutors said, Valcke committed "to do everything in his power" to ensure that beIN became the exclusive carrier in the region for the two World Cups, an agreement reached on April 29, 2014, and which FIFA has not disputed since then.

According to the allegations, Valcke would receive "exclusive use of the villa Bianca" in exchange for his support of the media group's broadcast rights in North Africa and the Middle East for the World Cups in 2026 and 2030.

Valcke was found guilty of a civil crime after the Federal Criminal Court concluded that his payment constituted a bribe. He was forced to pay FIFA compensation for his stay at the villa.

Valcke was also accused of taking more than a million euros in bribe money from Deris in order to get World Cup television rights in Greece and Italy. Valcke was acquitted of the most serious charges he faced, relating to accepting bribes and criminal administrative corruption.

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