The suspect deliberately ran over a young Moroccan shepherd’s flock of sheep.
The court had initially scheduled the trial for Thursday, May 7.
The Frenchman rammed the animals with his car in Essanaoubar Beach, also known as Plage David, in Bouznika, approximately 50 kilometers north of Casablanca.
Local authorities arrested the French national soon after a video documenting his crime went viral on social media.
The footage shows the Frenchman driving a gray vehicle near a field where the sheep were grazing. The man then suddenly accelerated, attempting to ram the animals.
After the sheep dodged the first ramming attempt, the man veered the car in all directions, aiming at the fleeing sheep until he finally killed a row of sheep grouped together.
After his massacre, the Frenchman threatened the shepherd, “Get out of here because you’re going to [end up] like the sheep!”
The suspect is currently in custody and faces charges of death threats and animal massacre. He “has admitted committing the two crimes in front of the public prosecutor,” the shepherd’s lawyer, Mountassir Bouabib, told the press on May 5.
The crimes and their punishments are mentioned in articles 425, 427, and 603 of Morocco’s penal code, the lawyer added.
Article 425 provides that “whoever, in anonymous or signed writing, image, symbol, or emblem, threatens to commit a crime against persons or property is punishable by imprisonment for one to three years and a fine of MAD 200 ($20) to MAD 500 ($50).”
Meanwhile, Article 427 says “if the threat provided for in article 425 … has been verbal, the penalty is imprisonment from six months to two years and a fine of MAD 200 ($20) to MAD 250 ($25).
As for animal massacre, Article 603 provides that anyone who kills or mutilates animals “without necessity” is punishable by imprisonment from six days to three months and a fine of MAD 200 ($20) to MAD 300 ($30), depending on where the offense occurred.
The sheep-ramming incident caused outrage on Moroccan social media, with hundreds of internet users calling for the Frenchman’s trial.
Several Moroccan non-profit organizations have also stepped forward to help the shepherd by putting him in touch with the lawyer.