A Casablanca court on Friday ruled against two lawyers for making serious accusations against Ilyas El Omari, president of the Tangier-Tetouan-Al-Hoceima region.
Kenitra – The court gave lawyers Mohamed Ziane and Isaac Charia a six-month suspended prison sentence and a MAD-1000 fine for “informing against a crime they know did not happen,” Moroccan media reported.
The court also ordered the two lawyers to pay MAD 500,000 as compensation for damages caused to El Omari.
The case goes back to November 2017 when both Ziane and Charia accused El Omari of conspiring against the Moroccan monarchy by inciting Hirak movement activists, including Hirak leader Nasser Zefzafi, to destabilize the country through protests.
“It is very dangerous to accuse someone of plotting against his country, and I will not let go of this lawyer until justice is done,” El Omari said.
“If I was targeted for my person, I would not have given any interest to these statements, but to be associated with maneuvers to destabilize my country and undermine its image, it is unacceptable,” he added.
Both Ziane and Charia were members of the defense committee of detained Hirak activists when Nasser Zefzafi, sentenced to 20 years in prison, was still on trial.
On November 21, Charia told the judge that his “client [Nasser Zefzafi] told me that El Omari had contacted him many times, inciting him and other Hirak activists to conspire against King Mohammed VI and the country.”
Charia added that he is ready to accept the court’s verdict if his statements are proven wrong.
When asked about his version of the events, Ziane said, “I already gave my opinion and testimony regarding the allegations made against El Omari.”
“I am not and will not give up on a single word I said regarding this matter,” Ziane told the press in November 2017.
Ziane added that Charia had “submitted 64 documents supporting his allegations against El Omari.”
Reacting to the court’s decision, Ziane said he was surprised at the verdict. The lawyer said that he did not understand why the sentence was suspended and why the court refused to enforce the ruling immediately.
Ziane, unapologetic, said that he will not change his mind about Ilyas El Omari. “I always think that El Omari has separatist tendencies and I will never change my mind.”