Morocco ex-minister denied release from prison after ‘adultery’ video

Morocco ex-minister denied release from prison after ‘adultery’ video

A former rights minister in Morocco turned prominent government critic who was given a three-year prison sentence in February had his appeal for freedom denied down by a Moroccan court, according to his son.

Mohamed Ziane, 79, was found guilty of a number of offenses after claiming that a video purporting to show him in a lewd act with a married woman in a hotel room was faked by the kingdom’s security forces.

Ziane said that Abdelatif Hammouchi, the chief of Morocco’s domestic security forces and the police, faked the video that generated a scandal.

“We learnt from the court registry on Tuesday that the request for release has been refused,” said Ali Reda Ziane. Ali is both Mohamed Ziane’s son and his lawyer.

“But we stick to our argument that the procedure for summoning him before the court was not respected; this nullifies the decision to imprison him,” he told AFP.

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Mohamed Ziane had told AFP in December last year that he faced a total of 11 charges. The charges include “contempt of public officials and the judiciary”, defamation, adultery and sexual harassment.

He said the charges against him were political. He has been in prison since last month.

Ziane was a prominent government lawyer in the early 1990s and human rights minister between 1995 and 1996. Later, he became a prominent critic of the security services.

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