A human rights organization in Morocco accused the Kuwaiti embassy of facilitating the escape of a Kuwaiti citizen accused of pedophilia .
Rabat – Kuwaiti ambassador in Morocco Abdellatif Ali Al-Yahia has said the embassy did not intervene in the case of the Kuwaiti man accused of rape of a minor in Marrakech in 2019.
The ambassador noted, however, that the suspect was subject to “abnormal blackmail.” He did not provide further details about the blackmail claims.
The statement comes after some activists and human rights groups accused the embassy of facilitating the suspect’s escape.
The case made national headlines after a court released the suspect accused of pedophilia and rape of a minor in Marrakech without confiscating his passports.
The man then left Morocco without prosecution.
Speaking on the case, the ambassador of Kuwait in Morocco denied that the embassy intervened for his release.
“The man was in custody for 54 days and we did not intervene. We trust Morocco’s judiciary. If we really intervened, we would have done that since day one of his arrest,” Al-Yahia said.
The diplomat suggested that the suspect reached a deal with the mother of the 14-year old alleged victim.
The ambassador said he doesn’t know whether the withdrawal of the case was for money.
“Some media said that the [the family of the victim] wanted to marry the girl with the suspect in order to withdraw the case. To be honest, I don’t know because if that is the case, the condition will be mentioned in the withdrawal document,” the diplomat said.
He said it is “unfair,” however, to hold a suspect in jail for 54 days without prosecution, saying that a provisional release with the confiscation of the suspect’s passport would be enough.
The ambassador suggested that the release of the man without confiscating his passport was a “mistake.”
He said there has been an interpol agreement with Morocco since 2008.
“We cannot help him run. We have an interpol deal with Morocco. It does not make sense to have him escaping prosecution since we can get him back to the country under the interpol deal.”
If Morocco ever issues an interpol statement against him, Kuwait will hand him over, he stressed.
The alleged rape case date back to July 2019, when the man reportedly raped a 14-year old girl in a rented apartment in Marrakech.
The girl disappeared for a few days before reappearing after the ordeal. The victim accused the man of violently raping her in return for MAD 3,600.
She said that the suspect hid her in his car’s trunk to get her inside the building and to avoid confrontations with security guards.
The Marrakech branch of the Moroccan Association for Human Rights (AMDH) accused the Kuwaiti embassy of helping the man to escape Morocco.
Omar Arbib of AMDH told MWN that the organization will continue to ask all relevant institutions to work to bring back the suspect to prosecution.
“We don’t want him to be sentenced in Kuwait. We want the authorities to expel him because he should be sentenced in Morocco, where he committed the crime,” the activist said.
Article 486 of the penal code in Morocco stipulates that suspects involved in the rape of minors, people with special needs, or pregnant women should receive a prison sentence ranging between 10 and 20 years.