Rabat - After the trial of the detained Hirak Rif protesters was postponed again to December 5, a recording attributed to leading activist Nasser Zefzafi has surfaced in which he condemns his now-fired lawyers for their accusations against the Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima president, Ilyas El Omari.
Rabat – After the trial of the detained Hirak Rif protesters was postponed again to December 5, a recording attributed to leading activist Nasser Zefzafi has surfaced in which he condemns his now-fired lawyers for their accusations against the Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima president, Ilyas El Omari.
In the recording, Zefzafi says that the allegations made by Isaac Charia “who claimed that the so called Ilyas El Omari was inciting the detainees to plot against the King are baseless.”
Zefzafi also confirms that it was he who sent the letter to the trial judge on Tuesday announcing the detainees had fired their leading lawyers, Issac Charia and Mohammed Ziane, for their claims that El Omari had tried to incite the activists against the throne and the kingdom.
“I would not stay silent if what he alleged had really happened,” says Zefzafi in the recording. “Despite the misunderstanding between me and my opponents, I would never slander them […] it is not in my morals to do such a thing.”
Zefzafi, who is facing various charges, including undermining the state’s domestic security, continues to say that “what was stated by Isaac Charia on November 21, 2017 before the judge of Casablanca’s Court of Appeal is baseless. Therefore, these are all baseless fallacies and slanders.”
The Al Hoceima activist explains how he learned of the accusations made by his lawyer and how he came to write the letter. He claims that members Morocco’s National Brigade for the Judicial Police visited him in the prison on Thursday and asked him to go with them. “I refused to go with them, as I do not trust them for several reasons, after members of the security elements filmed me naked and leaked the video.”
Zefzafi says in the recording that he asked the authorities to let him call his lawyers to ask them for consultation regarding the matter, but that the police told him it was not an issue of concern. The activist then says he asked for the order of the public prosecutor to see whether he was called for investigations. The police presented the order to Zefzafi, who says that he “discovered then that there was an order by the general prosecutor,” and that the order contained what was stated by Charia against El Omari.
Zefzafi said he accepted to go with them on one condition, that he could call a lawyer to accompany him. “But the police strictly refused the idea.” He then claims that he was called by the regional director of the prison, who told him that if he insisted on not going with the security elements he would have to write a letter to either refute or approve Charia’s claims.
Zefzafi then confirmed that he wrote the letter and send it to judge.
In the recording, Zefzafi repeated claims that he suffered forms of torture, an allegation that is still under investigation by Morocco’s National Human Rights (CNDH).
During the November 28 hearing, Casablanca’s Court of Appeal decided to postpone the trial until December 5, after the detained Hirak Rif activists requested an interim release.
Lawyers demanded also the interim release for their clients. The request was rejected by the prosecutor’s bureau. Therefore, the court decided to postpone the trial until December 5 and hold a hearing to consider the applications for interim release.
Otherwise, the court’s public prosecutor told the press that the November 28 court date had been held under “normal conditions” in the presence of all the suspects both in detention and on bail. The detainees lawyers were also present in the trial, reported Maghreb Arab Press (MAP).
The public prosecutor added that a group of defendants informed the judge of their decision to fire two members of their defense committee, referring to Charia and Mohammed Ziane.
The lawyers were revoked by the detainees after serious allegations were made against El Omari, president of the Tangier-Tetouan Al Hoceima region, on their behalf.
Moroccan press reported on November 28 that a group of suspects involved in the Al Hoceima “unauthorized” protests, including Zefzafi, addressed a message to the trial judge, refusing claims that El Omari had conspired conspiring against the throne.
The lawyer told the judge in a trial held on November 21 that the detained Hirak Rif activists told him that El Omari had contacted Zefzafi and other activists and incited them against King Mohammed VI and Morocco.
El Omari, who is also the secretary general of the Authenticity and Modernity Party (MAP), has strongly condemned the allegations made against him, calling the court for an immediate investigations to determine the motives of the lawyers. After Charia, Ziane echoed his colleagues allegations to the press, confirming that El Omari played a major role in the Al Hoceima protests.
The lawyer expressed his doubts over the letter presented to the judge on yesterday’s trial. Ziane and Charia both continued to insist on the allegations they made against El Omari.