New York - Two Moroccan Islamist preachers failed to show up for their court trial date yesterday.
New York – Two Moroccan Islamist preachers failed to show up for their court trial date yesterday.
Omar Benhammad, 63, and Fatima Neffar, 62, were schedule to appear in court to answer charges of committing adultery, attempted corruption of police, and complicity in adultery.
The two were arrested after being found by police allegedly engaging in sexual act at the beach near the seaside Town of Mohammedia on August 20. They were found in Benhammad’s car.
The trial was opened despite the absence of both Benhammad and Nejjar. Medical documents were presented to the court and the case was adjourned until September 22, reported Agence France-Presse.
Benhammad is a married father of seven children. He faces “attempted corruption” charges based on the events at the arrest.
Nejjar, a widow and mother of six, faces complicity in adultery charges. If convicted, she could serve a prison term of one month to a year.
Both were suspended as vice presidents of the Reform and Unity Party (MUR). MUR is the religious umbrella the Justice and Development Party (PJD), which has been heading the coalition government since the elections of November 2011.
The sex scandal has been a conversation at Moroccan dinner tables and has gone viral in the social media realm. Many point to the hypocrisy of the two “religious” leaders.
Before her arrest, Nejjar, a full-muhajabat (hijab wearer), made a video stressing to her all female audience the importance of chastity and saving sexual relations for marriage.
National elections are to be held in October and supporters of PJD see this sex scandal as a means to weaken their ability to win re-election.