Rabat - The details of the assassination of the UC Moroccan MP Abdellatif Merdass are worthy of a Mexican telenovela. Sex, money and revenge, the case has all the juicy ingredients for a blockbuster.
Rabat – The details of the assassination of the UC Moroccan MP Abdellatif Merdass are worthy of a Mexican telenovela. Sex, money and revenge, the case has all the juicy ingredients for a blockbuster.
On March 7 at around 10 pm, Abdellatif Merdass, a Moroccan member of parliament representing the Constitutional Union was shot dead steps away from his home in the upper class neighborhood of California in Casablanca.
Merdass’ mourning widow was then questioned at length by the elements of the National Brigade of Judicial Police (BNPJ) after her husband’s death. Investigators were hoping she could provide them with le clues relating to his various activities, but her answers concerned only his relations with his children and his close relatives, which were marked by great affection and love.
According to his widow, the deceased never spoke to her about his political or commercial activities. Besides, stated a close relative of Merdass, he had registered almost all his possessions in the name of his wife and children.
A secret love affair
The primary investigations of the BCIJ soon uncovered that Merdass was having a secret affair with an unnamed young woman, whose father was Mohamed Khanjar, Merdass’ political mentor. The woman’s brother, Mostapha, was then arrested as the main suspect in Merdass’ death.
But upon questioning Merdass’ mistress, investigators found out about an existing dispute between Merdass and a Moroccan immigrant in Italy who was also in contact with the woman.
The latter had threatened Abdellatif Merdass with violence if he didn’t end his relationship with the women. The immigrant was then also arrested and taken to the headquarters of the BNPJ for questioning.
This new arrest came as police suspicions of Khanjar, the brother of Merdass’ mistress, were gradually dissipating. According to the testimonies of many witnesses, the accused was in Ben Ahmed at the time of the murder. During his interrogation, the accused denied any involvement in the crime, telling the investigators that the relationship between his sister and the victim had been going on for more than three years.
Investigations thus advanced another hypothesis, that the Merdass’ assassination was carefully orchestrated according to a well-designed plan.
Involvement of the Mafia?
The BCIJ started exploring a new lead. The investigators began to suspect that Merdass’ murder had been linked to a dark web of money, land transactions and corrupted judges.
After the police discovered that Merdass had made several trips to Spain within a short amount of time, members of the BCIJ went twice to the home of the late deputy of the party in Casablanca, where they accessed many land documents and Merdas’ other bank accounts.
Sources close to the investigation revealed that a special team of smugglers had been instructed to trace the itinerary of the deputy UC, one hour before the murder, between the neighborhood of Maârif and his home. The BCIJ then began looking through Casablancan video surveillance cameras, which showed a white car following Abdellatif Merdass before mysteriously disappearing soon after.
The Black Widow
After completing the preliminary investigation, the BNPJ, the BCIJ and the prefectural judicial police in Casablanca arrived at some surprising conclusions.
While the BCIJ investigators were still following the hypothesis of the murder being the work of a crime organization, suspicions began to arise about the involvement of Merdass’ widow, Wafae.
Having noted her peculiar movements and suspicious reactions from the outset of the investigation, the investigators had put the late MP’s wife under close surveillance. Wafae turned out to hold some dodgy relationships with prostitution circles in the outlying districts of Casablanca, according to well-informed sources.
Moreover, several witnesses revealed that she often went to these places and had close relations with pimps. It was through one of them that she would meet her future lover, who was none other than the brother of her own neighbor.
The sordid love affair between the two evolved, and Wafae began to complain about her husband’s behavior, especially his sexual escapades and his multiple affairs. According to her, Merdass even planned to marry his mistress.
Wafae’s complaints become more urgent as Abdellatif Merdass discovered his wife’s love affair. He then announced, three months ago, that he would cut her out of his will and remove her name from all his possessions and material goods. Suddenly aware of this new development, she met with her lover, who expressed his intention to get rid of his rival and, at the same time, to take advantage of the inheritance bequeathed by Merdass.
The plan was carefully thought out so to make the murder appear like a political assassination or mafia hit.
The murder was executed in such meticulous manner that they almost got away with it, but the investigators’ original hunch proved prescient when they decided to bug the cellphone of the “weeping” widow. Wafae’s frequent phone calls with her lover would bring her dreams to an abrupt end, and send her into the abyss of a lifetime in jail.
Sex, money and revenge
What turned out to be a gruesome shock for the public opinion, was daily life for the investigators of the BNPJ and the BCIJ.
The arrest of the main suspect and his submission to interrogations helped to unravel the truth. It above all confirmed the original suspicions of the BNPJ’s own bloodhounds: that Merdass’ widow herself had been behind the sordid crime.
The main suspect, Hicham El Mouchtari, who had been elected to local positions in the ranks of the People’s Movement and then the RNI, had the ambition to build a political career, but he lacked the necessary funds. Their extra-marital relations developed gradually, as Wafae and Elmoutchari’s sister had been neighbors and friends.
All the necessary ingredients were combined to concoct a scenario suggesting a political settlement, especially since Merdass’ widow had been pushing the investigation in that direction.
However, Wafae’s movements had been closely under close surveillance, revealing that she had made a rushed journey to the notaries to check the property left by her late husband and those registered in her name.
The analysis of her phone calls would eventually be her ruin. Daily calls were made to the suspect’s number, providing sufficient evidence to implicate her in the case and arrest her for complicity in the murder of her own husband.
A well “witch”-crafted murder
While the public is still recovering from the shock of of Mardas’s murder and the involvement of his own wife in his gruesome death, new startling details are still emerging from the impressive police investigation.
As the details of the carefully-crafted murder of Merdass broke out, news surfaced about the involvement of the El Mouchtari’s sister, who happens to be a “psychic”. She was also charged with complicity in murder and imprisoned in Oukacha prison.
After uncovering all the details of the murder including the car rental and the use of a shotgun, investigators had one thing left to be explained: the wife’s alibi.
Wafae had to not be anywhere close to the crime scene during the murder. According to witnesses, she had said that she was visiting her sick mother during the time when her husband was shot dead. Once there, she called her daughters and told them she was going to be late and that they should call their father to take them to dinner somewhere. They did as she said, and that is why the late Abdellatif Merdass took left his friends unusually early and rushed to go home, to his death.
Meanwhile, the accomplices moved to the California district to ambush him in front of his home and shoot him down. After the assassination, the girls contacted their mother, who was supposed to ignore what was happening. She quickly joined her home and in front of several witnesses, started her impressive “cameo”, playing the devastated mourning widow in front of journalists and news cameras.
Investigations conducted by the police revealed Wafae called her “psychic” neighbor a few minutes after the murder, informing her that “they got him.”
The “widow” spent her first night in the prison of Oukacha where she was placed with her accomplice in cells of isolation and under close surveillance.
The tragic fate of the children
Between a murdered father and a mother arrested for his murder, the two children of this family are for a rude awakening. Too young to be able to fend for themselves, they were put in the custody of their maternal aunt.
The double shock of a dislocated family will with no doubt have terrible repercussions on their physical and mental health. Will they find the comfort they need in these tough times? How can they forgive their mother for arranging the assassination of their very affectionate father?