Arabsat confirms French court ruling against Qatari beIN SPORTS

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The Arab Satellite Communications Organization (Arabsat) has won a case leveled against them in a top French court by Qatar’s beIN SPORTS, the organization said in a statement.

“The judiciary’s ruling rejected all allegations made by beIN against Arabsat, confirming Arabsat’s valid position regarding all the accusations and defamation attempts led by Qatar’s media group, which sought to link our organization to the dubious beoutQ piracy,” the press release statement read.

“The French judiciary’s ruling, rejecting beIN’s lawsuit and allegations against Arabsat, has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt our organization’s valid position from day one, despite beIN SPORTS’ attempts to cast doubt on that position; its media smear campaign; and its relentless attempts to push bogus and misleading claims,” the statement added.

Meanwhile, speaking to Al Arabiya, Louis de Galle, an expert in international law, said this is a judgment rendered by the Paris Court of First Instance at the request of BeIN SPORTS, which claimed Arabsat had connections to and allows the broadcasting of BeoutQ signals.

“The court rejected all the claims submitted by BeIN Sports and supported the position of Arabsat in its decision. The court ordered BeIN SPORTS to pay 31,000 Euros to Arabsat,” de Galle said. De Galle said that the judgment has been rendered and the evidence submitted by beIN Sports to support its claim has been rejected.

He said that the court concluded that Arabsat has provided the evidence showing that the signal was not broadcast via Arabsat. “The decision of the court confirms that the BeoutQ programs were transmitted via the Internet and not the Arabsat satellite,” de Galle said.

De Galle rejected BeIN claims that the judgment was in its favor. “I can confirm and reiterate that the court decision rejected BeIN Sports claims and confirmed that Arabsat had not broadcast the programs alleged by BeIN SPORTS,” said de Galle.

“There is nothing that can be said or explained apart from … it is shocking to hear such a statement. In France we are not accustomed to seeing a person lie in such a way and say quite the opposite of what a court judgment says,” he told Al Arabiya.

Calling it unacceptable, he said that Arabsat will sue BeIN SPORTS because of this defamation. “The court said the evidence submitted by Arabsat is strong while the given by BeIN Sports could have been altered. Consequently, the court rejected the evidence submitted by BeIN SPORTS. There is no ambiguity in the court judgment rendered today.”

The ruling on June 13 comes soon after Yousef al-Obaidly, the chief executive officer of media group beIN, was handed preliminary charges of corruption as part of an investigation into the bidding process for the 2019 track world championships in Qatar.

Several Qatari and other media outlets reported on Saturday a press release issued by BeIN SPORTS which said that French court’s ruling had endorsed beIN’s technical reports, which claimed to prove Arabsat’s involvement in distributing beoutQ.

Arabsat said that while it welcomes the ruling in their favor, it said they “reserve the right to take legal action against beIN, its executives, and all parties involved in spreading false news regarding the Arabsat ruling.”

“The French courts’ conviction of beIN and its ruling that it pays unprecedented fines, as well as paying the prosecution costs represents justice and refutes all false accusations that Qatar’s beIN SPORTS group tried to pin on Arabsat to cover its technical failure to address media piracy. Arabsat hopes that the international federations will not drift behind defamation attempts and misleading campaigns led by the beIN organization, whose reputation has been tarnished by criminal investigations in France and Switzerland on charges of corruption and bribery,” the statement said.

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