Moroccan magistrates have asserted that the Moroccan judiciary is independent and is not subject to pressure from any political party.
Rabat – Speaking at a press conference in Casablanca, the Hassania Association of Magistrates and the Magistrates Club of Morocco unanimously condemned the position of Mustapha Ramid, Morocco’s human rights minister.
Commenting on Abdelali Hamieddine’s prosecution, Ramid recalled that “no one can be prosecuted or punished because of an offense for which he has already been acquitted or condemned by a final judgment in accordance with the law and the criminal procedure of each country.”
Ramid was referring to the decision of the investigating judge at the Fez Court of Appeals to re-prosecute Hamieddine for “voluntary homicide.”
The murder took place on February 25, 1993, at Dhar El Mehraz University in Fez, during clashes between leftist students and Islamist militants, which resulted in the killing of Mohammed Ait Ljid Benaissa.
In response to Ramid’s remarks, the president of the Hassania Association, Abdelhak El Aiassi, said that the case came in the wake of the Justice and Development Party’s (PJD) pressure and confusion it sustained after hearing the news. He argued that the PJD has led them to “cross the red lines” by looking at the judiciary as not independent and saying that “it would lose people’s faith.”
He also said that the case was reopened after new information was submitted to the investigating judge.
Defending his client, Hamieddine’s lawyer, Abdessamad El Idrissi, who is also a member of the PJD, echoed Ramid’s statement.
He immediately condemned the case on his Facebook page, calling it “political” and contrary to “the internally recognized principles of justice.”
“There are some people who seek to destroy confidence in any possibility to have an independent judiciary based on law and conscience,” Idrissi wrote.
During the press conference, a question from a journalist created great confusion in the conference room.
The questioner wondered such press conferences have not been held to ensure fair trials in many national cases, such as the Hirak Rif and Hirak Jerada case, as well as the recent prosecution of two journalists, Hamid El Mahdaoui and Taoufik Bouachrine.
The panelists preferred not to answer the question, arguing that it was not the subject of the conference.