Rabat – Said Chaou, the Moroccan-Dutch drug dealer arrested late June by Dutch authorities following two international warrants issued by Moroccan authorities, has not yet been released, according to sources close to the case.
The defendant’s lawyer appeared before the chief justice of the superior court of Breda in the southern Netherlands, but contrary to reports by Moroccan media, no decision on the release of Chaou was made at the hearing, says the Maghreb Press Agency (MAP).
The Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice stated that Chaou was subject to two international arrest warrants for “criminal conspiracy” and “international drug trafficking.” In addition to his criminal record, Chaou was suspected by Moroccan authorities to have provided financial and logistic support for the Rif protests.
On Thursday, “Dayf Al Aoula” host Mohamed Tijini said on his Facebook page that the Dutch authorities were about to release the former Moroccan parliamentarian Chaou.
Tijini, who cited Maroc TV, added that the Dutch justice had chosen to have Chaou wear an electronic bracelet to allow him to remain on probation pending a final verdict concerning the issue of his extradition to Morocco.
The state press agency MAP quickly denied the news, stating on Thursday afternoon that the Moroccan drug baron is still held captive in the Netherlands. MAP cited “a source close to the case,” without further details.
After several months of discussions with the Dutch authorities, Chaou’s case was set to create a diplomatic crisis between the two countries, as on June 24, Moroccan authorities decided to recall its ambassador to the Hague for consultation.
On June 29, the man, whose extradition was demanded by Moroccan authorities, was arrested in the Netherlands. Chaou is accused in Morocco of serious crimes linked to the formation a criminal conspiracy and voluntary homicide, as well as corruption and international drug trafficking.