French police raided the home of Paris Saint-Germain coach Nasser al-Khelaifi on Wednesday to investigate claims a man was detained and tortured in Qatar, a source familiar with the matter told AFP.
Tayeb Benabderrahmane, a 42-year-old French-Algerian, filed a complaint in January saying he was arrested in January 2020 in Qatar, where he had recently moved to work as a lobbyist.
Benabd Rahmane said he was held for six months and questioned by local police, especially over documents they believed he held that could pose a danger to Khalaife, a Qatari national.
He was initially placed under house arrest but was finally allowed to leave Qatar in November 2020 after signing a non-disclosure agreement covering the documents.
A note from France’s DGSI domestic intelligence service suggested the documents may include an intimate video of Khelaifi with a woman.
A conversation between former FIFA secretary-general Al-Khelaifi and Qatar’s Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani (saved on his old smartphone) could also touch on how the Gulf monarchy will get the 2022 World Cup in 2019 and distribution of television rights. The DGSI report said competition.
Benabd Rahman himself is under separate investigation over allegations of blackmailing Khalaifi.
“The investigating judge asked for more information and access, which was given to him in full transparency and in cooperation with the authorities,” a spokesman for the PSG boss told AFP on Wednesday.
A lawyer for Khelaifi did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Last week, organized crime investigators raided the city hall in Paris’ seventh arrondissement run by former government minister Rachida Dati, as well as several law firms linked to the investigation.
Benabd Rahman alleges that Dhaty also appeared to help his release while trying to cover up the detention on behalf of Qatar.
Meanwhile, people close to Dati described the lobbyist as a “master of blackmail”.
Al-Khelaifi’s lawyers said in April they would file a defamation suit against Benabd Rahman.