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Belounis to sue Emir of Qatar's brother

December 3, 2013
By Ian Holyman, France Correspondent

French-Algerian midfielder Zahir Belounis is to sue the brother of the Emir of Qatar as he seeks compensation for his long ordeal in the Gulf state.

Frank Berton, Zahir Belounis
GettyImages Zahir Belounis attends a news conference with his lawyer in Paris.

Belounis, 33, was finally allowed to leave Qatar late last week after signing a letter that ended his contract with Qatari club El-Jaish nearly two-and-a-half years early.

The player is, however, to take legal action against El-Jaish president Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al-Thani -- sibling of Qatar's ruler -- as he seeks the 120,000 to 150,000 euros he claims he should have been paid for the remaining years of his contract.

Gamaan Al Hamad, president of Military Sport Association -- the club Belounis originally played for before it was taken over by El-Jaish -- is also being sued.

"We've agreed to take the case to the Paris Public Prosecutor at the end of the week or the beginning of next week based on three things: fraud, particularly inhuman working conditions -- which is a specific offence in the criminal code -- and extortion," Belounis' lawyer, Frank Berton, stated during a news conference in the French capital on Tuesday.

Once Belounis' case has been opened, an investigating judge will be appointed within six months.

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