The National Brigade of the Judicial Police (BNPJ) allegedly summoned El Houari for investigation. When previously summoned, she was found hiding in a car trunk owned by one of the other alleged victims, who filed complaints in February against journalist Taoufik Bouachrine for alleged sexual assault and violent rape.
The car, according to a statement issued by Rabat’s public prosecutor on June 6, was parked in front of a house owned by a member of Bouachrine’s defense team. Local news outlets, including H24, said the house belonged to Bouachrine’s lawyer, Mohammed Ziane.
According to the statement, the alleged victim hid in the car trunk to avoid a court hearing.
The public prosecutor then ordered the arrest of El Houari. The alleged victim was released on June 8.
Commenting on BNPJ’s recent request for investigation, Ziane said, “If the public prosecution has initiated a prosecutor in this matter, my sons and I should have been summoned but that is not the case.”
He told H24 that according to “the law of criminal procedure, the refusal of a court summons is punishable by a fine and is not criminal.”
“I think the prosecutor’s office is doing a new episode like what it did in the Afaf El Bernani’s case. I think they will accuse her of not denouncing a slander. And the slander in this case is that she was raped by Bouachrine, but we will see,” he said.
Bernani is another alleged victim of Bouachrine. In April, Casablanca’s Court of First Instance gave Bernani a six-month sentence for accusing the BNPJ of falsifying her statement against Bouachrine.
In March, the public prosecutor of Casablanca’s Court of Appeal, Najim Bensami, announced in a press conference his intention to prosecute Bernani. He told the press that Bernani confirmed that she was sexually harassed by Bouachrine and that the police have a video of her initial statement, in which she allegedly confirmed that she was assaulted.
El Houari denied that she lodged a complaint against Bouachrine, who is still facing charges for his alleged sexual assaults on other journalists at his office.
El Houari, who has deactivated her Facebook, wrote a post emphasizing that Bouachrine never tried to rape her.
“He did not rape me, he did not try to rape me and I had never had a sexual relationship with him, and I did not even file a complaint. I don’t know where all these things come from,” the journalist wrote.
Bouachrine’s case is still ongoing. He will appear before the court again on September 10.
Since his arrest in February, Bouachrine along with his defense team, have denied the accusations filed against him. However, authorities have alleged that they have more than 50 tapes supporting the charges filed against him.