Forgery: Olympic kingmaker faces trial in Swiss court

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The kingmaker of Olympic elections goes on trial Monday accused of forging documents that his accusers allege were used to implicate a political rival in Kuwait in a fake coup plot.

The trial of Sheikh Ahmad al-Fahad al-Sabah and four others is set to last five days in a Geneva criminal court.

It will be a rare public appearance in Europe since being indicted in November 2018 for one of the most influential figures in world sport and royal family politics in oil-rich Kuwait.

The indictment led the sheikh to formally step aside in the official Olympic phrase from his long-time International Olympic Committee roles, though he is still active in sports politics.

The verdict of three Swiss judges in the cantonal (state) court could be given before March 10, when the IOC holds its presidential election in an online meeting.

If acquitted, Sheikh Ahmad could return to the Olympic family led by the IOC President he helped install in 2013.

At the time, Thomas Bach beat five opponents but is now unopposed for a subsequent four-year term.

The complex case has brought rivalry linked to Kuwaiti political succession to Geneva, an international center for arbitration.

Sheikh Ahmad is alleged to have taken part in legal processes to authenticate a video that appeared, if genuine, to implicate a former prime minister and a former Speaker of parliament in a political and financial conspiracy.

The lawyer for the family of Jassim al-Kharafi, the former speaker who died in 2015, said the alleged deception was Machiavellian.

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