Corruption News

PSG’s Al-Khelaifi fully acquitted of corruption charges for second time – Doha News


The Qatari sports official was previously acquitted in 2020.

The chairman of beIN Media Group Nasser Al-Khelaifi has been fully acquitted of charges of corruption for the second time by the Swiss Supreme Court on Friday, a statement confirmed.

 “Today’s verdict is a total vindication. After a relentless six year campaign by the Prosecution – which ignored both the basic facts and the law at every turn – our client has, once again for a second time, been fully and completely cleared,” said Marc Bonnant, Swiss counsel representing Al-Khelaifi during the appeal.

Al-Khelaifi, who is also the President of Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), was previously acquitted in October 2020 of claims raised against him, after the prosecution requested a 28-month prison sentence.

The Swiss Public Prosecutor’s Office (MPC) received the formal judgment in January, 2021, and filed a statement of appeal the following month.

Bonnant added that the latest ruling proves that “the years of baseless allegations, fictitious charges, and constant smears” are “completely and wholly unsubstantiated.”

Meanwhile, former FIFA secretary general, Jerome Valcke, and Greek marketing agency executive, Dinos Deris have both been convicted. Valcke received an 11-month suspended prison sentence and fine. 

Deris received a 10-month suspended prison sentence after he was acquitted at the original 2020 trial.

The claims go back to an alleged 2013 meeting at beIN’s French headquarters, where Al-Khelaifi said he would buy a villa in Sardinia for a whopping $6.06 million.

The accusations stated that Valcke would get “the exclusive use of the villa Bianca” in exchange for his support of the media group’s television rights in North Africa and the Middle East for the 2026 and 2030 World Cups.

The Federal Criminal Court had ruled that Valcke’s payment was a bribe, making him guilty of a civil offence. He was ordered to pay FIFA in damages for the time he spent in the villa.

Valcke was also involved in another scandal in which he was accused of receiving more than one million euros of bribe money from Deris to get World Cup media rights in Greece and Italy.

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