Rabat - Dutch authorities reacted to Morocco’s recall of its ambassador to the Netherlands, “due to the non-cooperation of the Dutch government to Morocco’s request to extradite Said Chaou,” accused of drug trafficking.
Rabat – Dutch authorities reacted to Morocco’s recall of its ambassador to the Netherlands, “due to the non-cooperation of the Dutch government to Morocco’s request to extradite Said Chaou,” accused of drug trafficking.
Said Chaou, former Moroccan parliamentarian and wanted drug dealer, is on the verge of sparking a diplomatic crisis between Morocco and the Netherlands.
In reaction to the announcement made Saturday by Moroccan diplomacy to recall its ambassador to The Hague for consultations in Rabat over a dispute related to the extradition of Chaou, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Security and Justice replied by releasing a joint press statement.
In it the Dutch ministries stated that “the Netherlands is determined, now and in the future, to collaborate effectively with Morocco in the framework of international agreements and with respect for the rule of law.” The Dutch authorities, however, believe that “in this respect, the Moroccan declaration is incomprehensible and unnecessary.”
The Moroccan foreign ministry, which did not explicitly reveal the identity of the wanted man, said on June 24 that Chaou was the subject of two international arrest warrants issued by the Moroccan judiciary concerning his involvement in a criminal gang in 2010, and international drug trafficking 2015.
The Hague’s reluctance to cooperate with Morocco’s request appears to be out of concern for Chaou’s safety. Dutch authorities emphasized in their statement that this type of request must “normally be fulfilled by the furnishing of various documents,” adding that it requires “a regular procedure and conditions of security in the prison.”
The Dutch press has reported that The Hague perceived its demands for guarantees to be “all the more important, since the accused would be behind demonstrations against the government and could be punished for political reasons.”
They have also reported that “the necessary administrative formalities were not completed when Morocco was content to offer only oral guarantees by telephone.” According to the Dutch Ministries, the latter are “not enough,” an official source told Dutch newspaper, Telegraaf.
The Hague’s reaction risks plunging Moroccan-Dutch relations into a deep crisis. Yesterday, Morocco “clearly stated to the Dutch authorities that it is imperative that concrete and urgent measures be taken against this trafficker and mercenary,” alluding to Said Chaou.
The kingdom will consider the advisability of returning its ambassador to the Netherlands “according to the evolution of this file.”
Things went south after Said Chaou appeared in a Facebook Live on Friday night. In the video, the wanted man directly attacked Moroccan political power, namely the PAM party, and reiterated his separatism.
Accused of pulling the strings of the Hirak movement from abroad, Chaou challenged the authorities to bring “the slightest evidence” proving these accusations, stressing that he had no connection with Nasser Zafzafi, leader of the movement.