Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) President Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah has been officially cleared of all charges by Kuwait’s Supreme Court after he was accused of insulting the judiciary.
Sheikh Ahmad, also the head of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), was given a six-month prison sentence as well as a 1,000 dinar (£2,500/$3,300/€3,000) fine in December before the Court of Appeal overturned the decision in January.
He had always denied wrongdoing and never spent any time in jail.
Sheikh Ahmad had considered the claims that he had insulted the judiciary as a personal attack against him.
The ruling from the Supreme Court, which cannot be appealed, allows Sheikh Ahmad to fully focus on his work ahead of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session, which is due to start in Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday (August 2).
“The Olympic Council of Asia is delighted to announce that the OCA President, HE Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah and also President of ANOC, has been acquitted by Kuwait’s highest court on charges of insulting the judiciary,” a statement from the OCA read.
“Everyone connected with the OCA would like to congratulate Sheikh Ahmad on the ruling, which finally vindicates the OCA President in this long-running issue.”
The situation arose after public comments Sheikh Ahmad allegedly made against two Government members three years ago, former Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah and former speaker Jassem Mohammad Abdul-Mohsem Al-Karafi.
He alleged that the pair had laundered money, misused public funds and plotted to topple the Government, saying his evidence was based on computerised documents and film records.
Sheikh Ahmad secured a Swiss Court ruling to prove that the voices of the two officials heard in his recordings were genuine, but the allegations were dismissed by a court in Kuwait as “fabrications”.
The development comes amid continuing issues in Kuwait, which remains in sporting exile in the wake of a new sports law which has been described as “human rights threatening” by critics.
The regulations – which the IOC claim amount to Governmental interference – have led to the country being banned from competing at Rio 2016 under their own flag.
They also remain suspended from a number of global governing bodies, with FIFA and the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) among 15 International Federations to have banned the country.
The controversial new sports law – introduced by Kuwaiti Minister of State for Youth Affairs Sheikh Salman Sabah Al-Salem Al-Homud Al-Sabah – officially came into effect earlier this month.
The row is seen by some to be the outcome of a personal feud between Sheikh Ahmad and Sheikh Salman.
Sheikh Salman stood unsuccessfully in 2014 to replace Mexico’s Olegario Vázquez Raña as President of the ISSF, in an election where his defeat followed insidethegames revelations that he had been using his Government position to try to influence voters.
He blamed allies of Sheikh Ahmad for his defeat and was then responsible for the new law coming into force in the country.
By Liam Morgan
Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz