RABAT - A Moroccan civil servant who leaked documents to the press showing that senior officials had awarded each other large monthly bonuses received a two month suspended sentence Friday for "divulging professional secrets."
RABAT – A Moroccan civil servant who leaked documents to the press showing that senior officials had awarded each other large monthly bonuses received a two month suspended sentence Friday for “divulging professional secrets.”
The verdict handed down by a court in Rabat comes more than two years after Morocco’s ruling Islamist party came to power promising to roll back the endemic problem of corruption in the kingdom.
Abdelmajid Louiz and his friend Mohamed Reda, who both worked at the finance ministry, were charged in July 2012 after leaking two documents to the press.
The administrative documents indicated that ex-finance minister Salaheddine Mezouar and the head of the treasury, Noureddine Bensouda, had awarded each other monthly bonuses of more than 7,000 euros ($9,050).
Reda was acquitted on Friday, while Louiz was given a two month suspended sentence and fined 2,000 dirhams (about 200 euros), which his lawyer said he would appeal, an AFP journalist reported.
Shortly after the documents were leaked in 2012, Mustapha Ramid, the justice minister with the ruling Islamist Party of Justice and Development, launched an inquiry into the legality of the bonuses awarded to Bensouda and Mezouar, who is now foreign minister.
Corruption watchdog Transparency Morocco charged that the inquiry had been “blocked.”
“There was a total lack of transparency in this trial. We have been following it closely because it is important, and concerns two senior officials,” said the NGO’s Ezzedine Akesbi, who attended Friday’s trial.
Ending corruption was a key demand of Morocco’s February 20 protest movement, born out of the Arab Spring uprisings sweeping the region in 2011.
More than three years on, many young activists are bitterly disappointed by the little they say the ruling Islamists have achieved to curb this pervasive problem.