Rabat - For what could be the umpteenth time, on Tuesday the Casablanca Appeal Court postponed the trial of Nasser Zefzafi and 53 other activists involved in the Hirak Rif protests in Al Hoceima to December 19, after the defense called for the nullity of police statements “extorted under duress.”
Rabat – For what could be the umpteenth time, on Tuesday the Casablanca Appeal Court postponed the trial of Nasser Zefzafi and 53 other activists involved in the Hirak Rif protests in Al Hoceima to December 19, after the defense called for the nullity of police statements “extorted under duress.”
According to the public prosecutor, the hearing took place in “normal conditions.” This could be considered a first for a trial that has seen numerous postponements, chants and protests, and even letters accusing officials of conspiring against the throne.
Except for the absence of one of the defendants, Anass Khattabi, who was suffering from a nervous breakdown, all the accused were on call, as well as their lawyers, relatives, and media outlets.
At the beginning of the trial, the defence continued, for the fourth hearing in a row, to present preliminary requests and technicalities concerning the invalidity of the records of the preliminary investigation.
According to defence lawyer Bouchra Rouissa, once taken into custody the defendants signed “statements without being allowed to consult them,” and without the police reading the statement to them, reports Medias24.
Another lawyer refers to “cooked-up records, prepared in advance” and whose signatures were according to him, “extorted under physical or moral constraint,” said the news site.
Thus, the defense team requested to summon the authors of these records, some administrative officials, former ministers, and secretaries general of some political parties.
The defense also requested to summon some intellectuals, the director of the National Radio and Television Company (SNRT), the director of television channel 2M, and the director of a regional radio channel in Casablanca.
One of the accused’s lawyers even requested the summoning of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum, since some of the defendants were being prosecuted for conversations and posts published on the social networking site and the messaging app.
Each of the defendants are standing trial for “undermining the State’s domestic security, sabotage, murder, and looting attempts,” and for “accepting money and other material means to fund propaganda meant to prejudice Morocco’s unity and sovereignty,” writes the state news agency, MAP.
They are also sued for “shaking citizens’ loyalty towards the Moroccan State and national institutions, participating in the organization of an unauthorized protest, and holding unauthorized public rallies.”