The curtain came down on a stalking case Nasser Al-KhulaifiPresident of the Paris Saint-Germain Football Club, on charges of corruption related to the file of Qatar’s candidacy to host the 2017 and 2019 editions of the World Athletics Championships, due to the lack of jurisdiction of the French judiciary, according to a ruling issued by the Court of Cassation.
As a result of this final decision, the corruption indictment against Al-Khulaifi, which was issued on May 23, 2019, was annulled.
Al-Khulaifi’s lawyer, Francis Spinner, commented on the Court of Cassation’s decision, saying, “I am pleased with this decision, which is in accordance with the law, and I remember that Nasser Al-Khulaifi has always denied any wrongdoing in this case.”
The Court of Cassation’s decision also included the current CEO, member of the board of directors of the “beIN” media group, Youssef Al-Obaidly, who is also accused in this case.
The origin of the issue
The case relates to financial investigations regarding two payments totaling $3.5 million dating back to the fall of 2011 by Oryx Qatar Sports Investments, linked to Khalid, the brother of Nasser Al-Khelaifi, to a sports marketing company run by Papa Massata Diack, son of the former president of the International Association of Athletics Federations. Senegalese Lamine Diack (from 1999 to 2015).
The judges and the investigation chamber of the Court of Appeal in Paris relied on a meeting held in French territory, specifically at the “Negresco” Hotel in Nice, and on transferring an amount of two million dollars to an account in France to justify the jurisdiction of the French judiciary in the case.
In return, Qatar would have received the support of Lamine Diack to host the 2017 World Athletics Championships, which went to London, and the 2020 Olympics, which Tokyo won, while Doha won the right to host the 2019 World Athletics Championships at the expense of Eugene of America and Barcelona of Spain.
The death of Lamine Diack in December 2021 ended the criminal proceedings against him.