The Paris home of Nasser Al-Khelaifi, President of Paris St Germain, was raided by French authorities in connection with an investigation into the alleged kidnapping and torture of a lobbyist.
According to the French newspapers “Mediapart” and “L’Equipe”, law enforcement authorities are investigating allegations by lobbyist Tayeb Benabderrahmane, who claims to have been held hostage and tortured in Qatar in 2020.
The PSG boss arrived three hours late at Wednesday’s press conference to unveil new Paris Saint-Germain coach Luis Enrique after being stopped by an examining magistrate on arrival at Le Bourget airport.
A PSG spokesman downplayed the importance of the events, attributing the delay to something else. “He knew the judge would be there and it took five minutes. It has nothing to do with the fact that his plane was delayed, which was due to a family problem,” the PSG representative told L’ team”.
Serious allegations against PSG boss Al-Khelaifi
Benabderrahmane is said to be in possession of sensitive documents related to the awarding of the 2022 FIFA World Cup to Qatar and beIN Media’s bid for the broadcasting rights of future tournaments – specifically the 2026 and 2030 World Cups. In addition to his work as a sports official, Al-Khelaifi is also the head of the media company.
Under torture, the lobbyist was questioned about data and documents in his possession, some of which came from a cell phone belonging to Al-Khelaifi and would incriminate him and some of his interlocutors: Specifically, these should be high-ranking figures from the emirate and FIFA.
Benabderrahmane also stressed that he was only released from Qatar after signing a non-disclosure agreement on the documents mentioned. If the lobbyist or one of his relatives violates the agreement and parts of the incriminating documents become public, he must hand over the data and accept a fine of five million euros, the report goes on to say.
The judiciary recognized extortionate tendencies in the allegations and opened a procedure in January.
Al-Khelaifi has denied any accusations
PSG boss Al-Khelaifi, in addition to his official activities in football, also a minister without portfolio in Qatar and a long-time friend of the emir, had already denied any allegations in a vigorous statement in February: “They have changed their lawyers more often than their stories”. the 49-year-old was quoted by the English newspaper “Daily Mail” at the time.
And the Paris President went even further: “This is the ultimate media manipulation. I’m just amazed that so many people consider their contradictions to be credible. Justice will take its course.”
Benabderrahmane’s lawyers, Maitres Romain Ruiz and Gabriel Vejnar told the AFP news agency at the time: “We are very happy that the French judiciary has finally launched an investigation into the true facts.”
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