Diack and son to stand trial in Paris in January

PARIS • The Paris courts said on Monday night that the corruption trial of former chief of world athletics, Lamine Diack, 86, and his son Papa Massata will begin from Jan 13.

The former, head of the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) from 1999 to 2015, has been charged with "giving and receiving bribes", "breach of trust" and "organised money laundering".

Papa Massata, 54, who handled valuable marketing rights for the organisation, has been accused of playing a "central role", with "money laundering", "giving bribes" and "aiding the receiving of bribes" charges filed against him.

The Diacks are suspected of being at the heart of a corruption web revolving around two payments totalling €1.8 million (S$2.72 million) made on either side of the International Olympic Committee vote for the Games to be awarded to Tokyo in September 2013. They were made to Black Tidings, a now-defunct Singapore-based firm linked to Papa Massata.

The investigations by the French Financial Prosecutor's Office also allege that Lamine obtained Russian funds for political campaigns in Senegal, in exchange for the IAAF's anti-doping arm covering up Russian offences.

The case is being pursued by the French authorities because the alleged money-laundering took place in the country. A separate probe is also continuing in France over the awarding of the World Athletics Championships to London for 2017 and to Qatar for this year, and over the sale of broadcasting rights.

Lamine has been under house arrest in Paris since the investigation began, but Papa Massata remains holed up in Dakar, Senegal's capital, and away from the reach of the French authorities.

Four other defendants have been indicted. Habib Cisse, the former legal adviser for the senior Diack, is suspected of having acted as an intermediary between the IAAF and Russian athletics officials .

Gabriel Dolle, the former IAAF anti-doping chief, Valentin Balakhnichev, a former head of the Russian Athletics Federation and IAAF treasurer, and Alexei Melnikov, formerly Russia's chief distance running coach, have also been accused of bribery offences, with the latter two subjects of international arrest warrants.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 30, 2019, with the headline 'Diack and son to stand trial in Paris in January'. Print Edition | Subscribe