“Explosive” case involving Nasser al-Khelaïfi: “A state scandal”, according to Tayeb Benabderrahmane’s lawyers

After issuing a press release last week, the defense of Tayeb Benabderrahmane shifted gears by holding a press conference this Wednesday afternoon. The appointment was made for two days in a living room of a luxury hotel in Paris’ 1st arrondissement. His three lawyers – My Luke Vidal, Juan Branco and Nabil Boudi – exchanged views with the many journalists present for over an hour. In program : “provide explanations” about the arrest of their client in Qatar in early 2020 and expose “its truth in this case”.

On his profile: “The classic profile of a French investor abroad”

“He is a French businessman who has been active in geopolitical and geoeconomic consulting through various networks for the past fifteen years. And which, as part of its activities, has met a number of actors that have allowed it to carry out numerous missions in France and abroad, often linked to crisis situations.

In this regard, he was approached by the Qatari authorities in relation to economic and political boycott to invest his network, knowledge and expertise. He came into contact with prominent personalities in Qatar and settled there with his family. He developed his consulting business and continued to provide his services to the country. In short, the classic profile of a French investor abroad. Until January 13, 2020… »

On his arrest and detention: “acts of pressure and torture”

“That day he was arrested by local security forces in the morning. His home was searched and his material and intellectual property was confiscated. He was then taken into secret custody and subjected to pressure and torture for several weeks in order to obtain information and, primarily through his wife, to force him to return any information he had. He was then taken out of the center at the handover before being placed under house arrest and leaving the country on November 1, 2020.

Regarding the claims: “No support from the French authorities”

“At no point were his fundamental rights respected. He had neither consular protection nor the right to a fair and accessible trial. Nor did any judicial or police authority attempt to extricate him from the situation in which he had been placed or attempt to investigate his detention. His reaction was gradual but immediate. This summer’s criminal complaint is just the result of a series of steps, amicable, then contentious, that he took alone and, in the face of silence, without the support of the French authorities.

It is under these conditions that late August to early September (2022), he decided to step up his response and open a criminal case. Those are two complaints. The first against X for torture and the second for extortion, also against X but against all the people who had taken part in these negotiations up to his release against documents. »

On the alleged role of Al-Khelaïfi: “He had something to fear”

“Nasser al-Khelaïfi forced him and his alleged lawyers to refrain from disclosing potentially compromising documents during his detention in Qatar (all the time) pressured his family to retrieve the items and sign this protocol* (of confidentiality). Al-Khelaïfi, one of the most powerful people in the world, tried to prevent information about him from being shared.

The whole problem for Qatar is to suppress this type of deal because we are touching on important strategic issues. Our client was perceived as an obstacle and football was misused as an instrument for direct political purposes. If they would take all those risks (to stop it), is that the concern is important. And if Al-Khelaïfi was personally involved, it was because he had something to fear. »

On the consequences: “This case is quite extensive”

“What we are experiencing is tantamount to a state scandal. He (your customer) is unlike the thousands of casualties the Qatari regime has inflicted on foreign workers and political opponents in recent years. He is a miracle and his life is still in grave danger today. Hence the desire to make his voice heard and to know his story. This challenges the absolute silence imposed in France. The Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs was informed first, as was the French ambassador in Qatar. The steps were repeated in January, still with no response.

Why was France silent? We can expect answers. Did France knowingly remain silent and knowingly cover up a foreign state? The corruption networks built by Qatar go far beyond what we think. This case is pretty broad. There are interests from lawyers, politicians, former ministers and elected officials. It must therefore be investigated whether he was a victim of torture in Qatar and, above all, whether French actors are complicit, including those who have remained silent. Some interlocutors in Paris were aware of the mistreatment suffered. »

On his most recent charge of suspected confidential leaks: “Much too coarse return fire”

“The investigations against him are initially none of his business and the invasion of privacy, which was one of the first charges, was also raised during his appearance before the investigating judge. He is indicted but remains free, placed only under judicial scrutiny. We are used to these far too crude firefighting attempts. There will be an extraordinary offensive to destroy our client after trying to make him disappear. »

On his condition: “A broken man”

“His position was that of a broken man when he returned to France. We have concrete and objective elements, including medical reports, which allow us to state that he was subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment during his detention. There were also direct threats to his family, such as his children being poisoned or his integrity permanently damaged.

It was a lasting trauma that his wife is still feeling. Everyone around him suffered from these facts. Imagine the level of anxiety that may have gripped him over the last few months. He has suffered extraordinary violence and is trying to rebuild himself hoping for justice. For him and for all other people who might have known similar facts without being able to be heard. »

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *