Did the PSG boss want to destroy incriminating documents related to Qatar’s obtaining of the World Cup, which starts this Sunday? This is what several protagonists say in a sensational case qualified as “total manipulation” by Nasser Al-Khelaïfi’s spokesman.
Suspicions of private espionage, blackmail and torture
This story with drawers, which mixes suspicions of private espionage, blackmail and torture allegations, comes to light at the end of September, when three men are indicted in Paris for trading in influence and corruption in particular.
Among them, the French-Algerian lobbyist Tayeb Benabderrahmane and Malik Nait-Liman, a former secret service policeman, hired in 2018 as a supporter contact at PSG. They are suspected of passing sensitive information about some people from the police archives, in particular to the Parisian soccer team.
But in this case there is another case: Mr. Benabderrahmane says he was arrested in January 2020 in Qatar, where he had settled three months earlier to lobby. He says he was imprisoned and tortured for six months, then placed under house arrest and finally allowed to leave in November of the same year, after agreeing to sign a confidentiality protocol in which he undertook not to divulge any documents. “sensitive” on Nasser Al-Khelaïfi.
What were these documents? Did you try to blackmail the PSG boss? According to a September 29 report by the Directorate General of Internal Security and the General Inspectorate of the National Police, revealed by Liberation and consulted by AFP, it could be part of intimate videos of the PSG head with his mistress; on the other, conversations contained in a telephone belonging to Nasser Al-Khelaïfi, with Jérôme Valcke of Fifa and the Emir of Qatar Tamim ben Hamad Al Thani, linked to the organization of the Qatar World Cup or to the assignment of television rights.
Mr. Al-Khelaïfi, also president of the beIn Media group, and Mr. Valcke were tried in Switzerland, accused of having concluded a pact behind Fifa in a TV rights lawsuit linked to the 2026 and 2030 World Cups. They were acquitted of October 2020, then again on appeal in June 2022. How would Tayeb Benabderrahmane find himself in possession of these documents?
In police custody, the lobbyist said that Hicham Karmoussi, Nasser Al-Khelaïfi’s Moroccan butler for twenty years, who was fired in June 2020, had asked him in 2018 to secure a mobile phone, a hard drive and a USB in Algeria key containing data relating to the head of PSG. He had also provided him with an extract of the latter’s phone data.
Hicham Karmoussi told Mediapart on Friday that he helped Nasser Al-Khelaïfi, who is concerned about investigations in France and Switzerland targeting him, make ” cleaning “ in his Parisian apartment before a possible search and having kept some things in his possession. He says he gave “just the phone” to Mr. Benabderrahmane. Mr Karmoussi, whose home was raided on 20 October, was heard on Tuesday as a witness at the anti-corruption office (OCLCIFF) in charge of investigating the conditions for assigning the 2022 World Cup.
“Soon he will be heard by the judicial authority”
“Hicham Karmoussi worked for many years in the service of Mr. Al-Khelaïfi and it is logical that justice wanted to hear him as a witness”, said his lawyer Antoine Ory. Otherwise, “expects to be heard soon by the judicial authority” as part of the judicial investigation in which Mr Benabderrahmane and Mr Nait-Liman were indicted, according to the lawyer.
For his part, Benabderrahmane filed a complaint in August in a civil suit in Paris: the first for torture, arrest and kidnapping, where he denounces his detention in Qatar, and the second for extortion and tampering with witnesses, targeting the role of lawyers who worked on signing the protocol.
At the end of the week, he paid the deposit fixed by the rector of the investigating magistrates, a prerequisite for the appointment of an investigating judge. “This overall coherence in the investigations that will be conducted will reveal the complex machinery at work in the political and financial relations between France and Qatar, of which Mr. Benabderrahmane has been a victim. “, estimated his lawyers in a press release.
“Never has there been a clearer example of total and blatant manipulation of the media – lies and fabrications by individuals trying to distract from the fact that they are being prosecuted for a multitude of crimes against a range of people »reacted a spokesman for Nasser Al-Khelaïfi.
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The protagonists of this case “they’ve changed their stories more than they’ve changed the lawyers – and the lies are getting fancier week by week”sweep the mouthpiece. “We will quietly let the legal process take its course and it is the law that will ultimately prevail. »