Don’t make Diack a scapegoat – Lawyers

Lawyers for former International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) President Lamine Diack say he should not be made a “scapegoat” at his corruption trial in Paris.

One of Diack’s lawyers, Simon Ndiaye said his client should not be made a “scapegoat” in the case, as reported by Associated Press.

“Ignore appearances and be wary of purely moral judgements,” Ndiaye urged judges.

“Resist the temptation to make this case an exemplary case, and Lamine Diack a scapegoat to purify the IAAF.”

Diack is on trial in Paris for corruption, influence-trafficking and laundering money, and prosecutors yesterday called for the 87-year-old to face four years in prison and a fine of $560,000.

Meanwhile, another of Diack’s lawyers William Bourdon called for his client’s age to be taken into consideration when the verdict, expected in September, is announced.

“Do not take a decision that stops him from dying with dignity, surrounded by his loved ones, on his native land,” Bourdon told judges.

“He {Diack} has already been very heavily punished and chastised.”

Diack served as President of IAAF, now World Athletics, between 1999 and 2015 and also served as an International Olympic Committee (IOC) member between 1999 and 2013.

He has been under house arrest in Senegal since 2015.

Also being tried as part of the case is Lamine Diack’s son Papa Massata, who refuses to be extradited to France.

Prosecutors have requested a five-year prison sentence and €500,000 fine against him.

Fellow defendants in the case are ex-advisor Habib Cissé, former anti-doping chief of the IAAF Gabriel Dollé, former Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) President Valentin Balakhnichev and former head distance coach of the Russian national team Alexei Melnikov.

Former RusAF President Balakhnichev has been speaking to Russian media about the case, describing the case against him as “shameful” and “anti-Russian”.

“For me, the opinion of the law enforcement agencies of the Russian Federation that investigated this case is important,” Balakhnichev, told TASS, Russian state news agency.

“I have an official letter from the Investigative Committee, which says that there is no evidence in this case.

“There is no evidence from the French prosecutor’s office; the case is built in words, on some pieces of paper printed on a printer, which is not evidence. –

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