GENEVA: The trial started and was adjourned in Geneva today of Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, for years one of the most powerful men in the Olympic movement and sport in general across Asia.

The Kuwaiti is accused, along with four other people, of fabricating fake videos to try to prove that two Kuwaiti government officials were guilty of conspiracy and corruption. He has denied all charges which could carry a maximum of 10 years’ jail.

The trial, which is expected to last five days, was adjourned until at least later next month to allow one of the other defendants time to secure adequate legal representation.

This means that Sheikh Ahmad will not  – as he would have hoped – be cleared in the online IOC Session next week. The Session will include the pesidential re-election for a further four years of Thomas Bach.

The case goes back to December 2013, when political allies of Sheikh Ahmad in Kuwait claimed to possess video tapes showing former Prime Minister Nasser Al-Mohammed and former Speaker of Parliament Jassem Al-Kharafi secretly preparing for an overthrow attempt of the government.

Swiss judicial authorities became involved because of the local preparation of the video tapes.

Sheikh Ahmad claimed that, rather than being the instigator, he was the victim of a plot intended to remove him from any form of power or influence in his country of birth. 

Officially, he is temporarily suspended from the IOC, pending the outcome of the trial. He has also stepped back from the presidency of the Association of National Olympic Committees but has continued to chair the Association of Asian Olympic Committees.