The prosecutor said he regretted such judgements, stressing they are not based on the law.
Rabat – Morocco’s public prosecutor at the Court of the First Instance in Rabat responded on Friday to a press release that condemned the arrest of university professor Maati Monjib.
The press release from the “National Committee for Solidarity with Maati Monjib” denounced the professor’s December 29 arrest in Rabat.
“The arrest comes as part of the ongoing investigation, linking Maati Monjib with a money laundering case,” the prosecutor said.
Following the arrest, several activists and human rights NGOs condemned the move, calling for his immediate release.
The National Committee for Solidarity with Maati Monjib considered the arrest “arbitrary and against legal procedure.”
The committee claimed several security personnel in civilian clothes came to arrest Maati Monjib with two police cars.
In response, the public prosecutor said he regretted this prejudice, asserting that such allegations are not based “on law, nor on reason or logic.”
The prosecutor also questioned the elements that led the committee to describe the arrest as “arbitrary.”
“Is the arbitrariness and violation of the procedural law due to the timing of the arrest since it took place at three o’clock in the afternoon? Or because it was a specific Tuesday? Or was it because it happened inside a restaurant? Or is it because the restaurant is located in Rabat? Or because the arrested person was eating his food?”
The prosecutor said that those who criticized the arrest assess the validity of the judicial procedures on the basis of their “own law.”
The public prosecutor added that the office will refrain from discussing observations that “have nothing to do with the proper application of the law.”
The office said that the judiciary alone is qualified to decide the extent of the arrest’s legality. It added that it regrets the use of “these methods to offend national institutions that are constantly seeking adherence to legal controls, and confirms that the appropriate places to discuss such data are the offices of investigative judges and courtrooms.”
The ongoing investigation seeks to determine whether Maati Monjib is guilty of money laundering.
The case began years ago.
Maati Monjib owned NGO SARL Ibn Rochd Center, which ran until 2014.
He established the NGO in 1999, which stopped its activities because the Court of Auditors decided to look into the organization’s finances.
Earlier this week, local outlet Le360 claimed Maati Monjib owned 98% of the shares of the NGO. The university professor, however, gave his sister the post of director when she only held 1% of the shares.
The news outlet claimed subsidies came mainly from the Dutch NGO “Free Press Unlimited” and the American organization “National Endowment For Democracy.”
“Other funds were received by Maati Monjib and were in the order of MAD 1.4 million ($156,000),” it added.
The news outlet said that Maati Monjib put most of the money in two different accounts at a bank in Rabat.
“In five years, he transferred to these accounts MAD 3.5 million ($392,000) and was withdrawing amounts in cash.”
The withdrawals reached MAD 3.1 million ($347,000) of which MAD 2.45 million ($275,000) was deposited in a third account, according to the same source.