A forgery case involving Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) President Sheikh Ahmad al-Fahad al-Sabah has been adjourned after a defendant came to court without legal representation.
Sheikh Ahmad and four others - all accused of creating fake videos to prove two Kuwaiti Government officials were guilty of coup-plotting and corruption - were due in criminal court in Geneva today.
The hearing had been due to run until Friday (February 26), but according to Associated Press, the panel of three judges adjourned the case after defendant Hamad al-Haroun arrived without legal representation.
The adjournment could last several weeks as lawyers are appointed for al-Haroun, who has been described as a former aide to Sheikh Ahmad.
Another defendant, English lawyer Matthew Parish, did not attend in person.
Parish did have representation, however, and could be tried in his absence.
The case is now unlikely to be resolved before the International Olympic Committee Session from March 10 to 12, during which Thomas Bach is set to be re-elected as President unopposed.
Sheikh Ahmad is one of the IOC's longest-serving members after his appointment in 1992 and is widely credited with helping Bach become President of the organisation in 2013.
The 57-year-old is also credited with helping Japan's capital Tokyo win its bid to host the this year's Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Sheikh Ahmad has always denied the allegations against him but temporarily stood down as a member of the IOC and as President of ANOC pending the outcome of the case.
The IOC has said its Ethics Commission "continues to monitor developments in the case and in particular the decision that may be taken by the Geneva judicial authorities."
Sheikh Ahmad has remained at the helm of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA).
If found guilty of the forgery charges, Sheikh Ahmad could receive a maximum jail sentence of five years.
The allegations date back to December 2013, when allies of Sheikh Ahmad claimed to possess tapes purportedly showing that former Prime Minister Nasser Al-Mohammed and ex-Parliament Speaker Jassem Al-Kharafi were discussing plans to topple the Kuwaiti Government.
In December 2015, Sheikh Ahmad was convicted of "disrespect to the public prosecutor and attributing a remark to the country’s ruler without a special permission from the Emir’s court," issued a suspended six-month prison sentence and a fine of KWD1,000 (£2,353/$3,304/€2,721).
In January 2016, however, the Kuwaiti appeals court overturned the prior ruling and cleared Sheikh Ahmad of all charges.
He has claimed Al-Mohammed filed a criminal complaint against him in Switzerland in a bid to blacken his name.
His lawyer Patrick Hunziker claimed in court today that Sheikh Ahmad had "no fear" facing the accusations.