Compiègne. Three former members of the Martial Arts steering committee must pay 6,000 euros to the club

Akim Bahmed, president of Compiégnois Martial Arts.

There court of appeal just condemn Benjamin Belaïdi, Savatore Capuano And Said Laftih to be paid jointly to Compiègne Martial Arts (AMC) 3,000 euros of damages and interests For abusive procedure.

Benjamin Belaïdi, former vice-president, Salvatore Capuano, former treasurer (until 2017), and Saïd Laftih, former assistant vice-president, had attacked the club for the leaders to communicate to them “a copy of the accounting documents of the association in order to verify the management of the association during the period when they were members. Or the period 2015/2016 to 2019/2020.

The trio asked themselves “questions about the administrative, technical, organizational and financial management of the AMC club following observations of several facts”. So much so that those who will be described as “rebels” or “putschists” took the club to court. The trio of complainants considered that the president of the association Akim Bahmed had “wrongly opposed their multiple requests for access to said documents over 4 years”, “contrary to the principles of loyalty and good faith governing any association, which more is receiving public subsidies.
“We then became targets to be criminalized and excluded from the club as quickly as possible,” indicates the trio.

For his part, President Akim Bahmed believes he has foiled “their attempt to take control illegitimately to promote their political and professional interests”: “These actions were clearly denounced and fought by the steering committee, which strives to preserve the integrity and values ​​of our association in the face of such attacks. We continue to promote a respectful and disciplined environment, essential to the practice of martial arts.

The excluded trio

The president had organized a meeting of the steering committee on September 3, 2018 “planning the dissolution of the steering committee with the sole aim of excluding us”, believes Benjamin Belaïdi.

“This dissolution went against the club’s statutes, because it must be done during a general meeting,” continues the complainant. Hence the referral to the Compiègne High Court in order to “request the cancellation of the last general meetings as well as the appointment of a provisional administrator in order to re-establish respect for the AMC statutes”. “The courts, however, considered that there was a legitimate reason to suspend the effects of the dissolution-eviction of the management committee in view of the manifest violation of the statutes,” continues Benjamin Belaïdi.

Since this dissolution, “all requests for communication of accounting and administrative documents have gone unanswered,” laments Benjamin Belaïdi.

The latter had been excluded, as well as Saïd Laftih for non-payment of their contributions: “As members of the steering committee and involved in the club, we were not required to pay the contributions (provided for in the club’s statutes in 2018). The license remains our responsibility.”

“We never had the accounting documents”

The trio said they were forced, in these conditions, to appeal again to the Compiègne court, which had dismissed their appeal. The court “limited itself to a superficial analysis of the facts”, believes Benjamin Belaïdi.

Hence the appeal of Benjamin Belaïdi, Savatore Capuano and Saïd Laftih, again rejected. by the court of appeal. “The court considered that we persisted in the request for complete surrender of the documents even though we were no longer members of the steering committee and members.”

In addition to the annulment of the first instance decisions, they demanded €4,000 from Arts Martiaux Compiégnois for “false accusations from Mr. Bahmed and his family”. In response, Arts Martiaux Compiégnois claimed €10,000 in damages for abusive procedure.

Concerning the non-communication of accounting documents, the AMC replied that the appellants were no longer part of the management committee. The association recalled that Salvatore Capuano, treasurer of the association from 2013 to 2017, “kept numerous documents”. This led the association to file several complaints.
The Court of Appeal considers that the non-communication of documents is well-founded, “the appellants limiting themselves to stating their status as former members of the management committee”. “The first judge was therefore justified in dismissing them,” considers the court.

The club evokes “an intention to harm”

The AMC leaders developed the following arguments. “Although no longer part of the association, the callers persist in hindering the functioning of the association by maintaining abusive calls (…) without even explaining their motivation.”

The Compiègne club recalled that the wife of one of the callers, a former member of the AMC, is an associate lawyer within the firm which conducts all legal proceedings. The association, “which multiplies procedural costs and devotes infinite time to the management of these procedures”, had to retain the services of a lawyer.

“The intention to harm the association is reflected in their actions, which have already been the subject of a criminal complaint,” recalled the AMC club.

For the court, the action did not appear abusive at first instance. On the other hand, persisting “in maintaining on appeal only the request for communication of documents” characterizes “reprehensible levity”. The court concluded: “The appellants clearly abuse their right to appeal.”

The request for €3,000 in damages is justified “in compensation for the hassle and loss of time which hinders the normal functioning of the association”. These damages are accompanied by the reimbursement of the club’s legal costs of €3,000. That’s 6000€ in total.

Welcoming this legal victory, President Akim Bahmed believes he has foiled a putsch attempt on their part, “to promote their political and professional interests”. Maneuvers whose main instigator was, in his eyes, Benjamin Belaïdi.

“The court ruled that their appeal represented an abuse of law, leading to their conviction for the inconvenience and loss of time caused to our association,” continues President Bahmed. This group has launched several unfounded legal actions, showing an inappropriate and costly exploitation of judicial resources.”
Following the trio’s report on the management of the club, president Akim Bahmed had to return a company telephone and had to waive reimbursement for travel expenses. “It is a very well-managed association, which has no loans, no debt and has significant cash reserves,” the accountant even assured.


Questioned about this court decision, Benjamin Belaïdi spoke on behalf of the three “appellants”. “This series of legal procedures was not to take the place of the president or to carry out any “putsch”, but simply to officially demand the accounting documents of the association. A request which also came from several members asking real questions about the financial management of the club. Mr. Bahmed has always refused to provide us with the accounting documents even though these are documents that must be consultable and available to members. It was a healthy and civic approach. We were perfectly within our rights and it was even our duty to ensure the good financial management of the association.”
He believes that the court of appeal “did not take the time to analyze the situation in depth, as well as the seriousness of the facts”: “We are going to court because we love our club, especially since we have incurred numerous personal costs in this matter. If we wanted to take Mr. Bahmed’s place, there is a democratic, free and faster way. It’s called elections.”

Benjamin Belaïdi explains that he grew up in this club: “Licensed since 1988 and trained by Marcel Mottet like many martial arts lovers of my generation… We have always wanted this club to develop, to be educational and faithful to the martial values ​​defended and carried by our predecessors. It’s a page in the book that is being turned but there are many chapters to write within this club.”

Benjamin Belaïdi and Salvatore Capuano.
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