Rabat - Moroccan authorities will have a harder time extraditing Said Chaou, the Moroccan MP arrested in Holland accused of drug trafficking, now that notable Dutch lawyer Inez Weski is representing him.
Rabat – Moroccan authorities will have a harder time extraditing Said Chaou, the Moroccan MP arrested in Holland accused of drug trafficking, now that notable Dutch lawyer Inez Weski is representing him.
Weski is famous in the Netherlands for working on big cases where clients are accused of heavy crimes, such as drug trafficking. “She does not do the usual criminal cases”, reported Dutch online website Volkskrant.
Among past clients was the current President of Surinam, Désiré Delano Bouterse, who was convicted in the Netherlands in 1999 ‘in absentia’ for drug trafficking.
Another former client was Guus. K, a former businessman sentenced in April to 19 years in prison for smuggling arms to the forces of the former Liberian President Charles Taylor, who has been accused of committing massacres between 2000 and 2003.
Weski’s courtroom talents are extensive, and she is known for her thorough knowledge of both the cases and the clients concerned.
“She belongs to the elite of criminal lawyers,” noted Dutch publication Volkskrant, who recounted her journey to success since being sworn in as a lawyer in 1978. “She does not drink, does not go out and works until late at night. Except on Friday nights [when] she usually takes a break.”
The website quoted a former colleague who called her “an iron lady.”
Just as has happened with her former clients, Chaou’s current case has drawn a lot of attention from both Morocco and Holland.
Chaou, a former member of the House of Representatives, reportedly fled Morocco in 2010 when his “partner in crime”, Najib Zaimi, testified against him.
Since leaving the kingdom, he has become an active member in the 18 September Movement for the Independence of Rif, a group that calls for the separation of the northern region from Morocco. Chaou is also suspected of financing the separatist group.
He came under the spotlight in recent weeks when investigations of Moroccan authorities revealed he had tried to infiltrate the current protest movement in Rif. Chaou had also started to make media appearances, showing his support for Hirak and criticizing the Moroccan state.
In a comment about Chaou’s case, Weski said that he will be fighting extradition.
“[Weski] believes that the extradition request is politically motivated”, wrote Dutch online news outlet Elsevierweekblad.
Despite the lawyer’s claims, Moroccan authorities maintain that Chaou is a dangerous criminal involved in international drug trafficking, citing his arrest in 2015 by the Dutch authorities as an example.
The Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement sent to Morocco World News in late June that Chaou is trying to hide his crimes by claiming there are political motives behind his prosecution.
“His arrest today brings him to his natural position as a notorious criminal,” asserted the ministry.