Police arrested the professor in December for his involvement in money laundering crimes and “undermining the internal integrity of the state.”
Rabat – The Court of First Instance in Rabat sentenced Moroccan professor Maati Monjib to one year in prison on Thursday.
The court handed the verdict against Monjib for charges, including “undermining the internal integrity of the state and fraud.” The professor will also pay a fine of MAD 10,000 ($ 1,000).
Police arrested Maati Monjib on December 29 at a restaurant in Rabat.
The public prosecutor at Rabat’s court said that the arrest was part of an ongoing investigation, linking Maati Monjib with a money laundering case.
The investigation sought to determine whether Monjib is guilty of money laundering.
Monjib owned an NGO which was suspended by Morocco’s Court of Auditors in 2014 on allegations of money laundering.
Le360 released data on the case in December, claiming that the NGO used to receive subsidies from Dutch NGO “Free Press Unlimited” and the American organization “National Endowment for Democracy.”
The journalist put all of his money in two different bank accounts.
“In five years, he transferred to these accounts MAD 3.5 million ($392,000) and was withdrawing amounts in cash,” the news outlet.
Despite the evidence presented against him, the professor continues to profess his innocence
Some activists have also criticized his arrest, calling for his immediate release.
The public prosecutor appeared to be critical of such claims against the judiciary system in a press release in December.
The prosecutor denounced claims that police arrested the journalist arbitrarily.
“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 activists who criticized the arrest made prejudices on the basis of their “own law.”
While state prosecutors have provided significant details on the fraud charges, the inclusion of the charge of “undermining the internal integrity of the state” was not elaborated upon by officials.