A Moroccan court decided to continue the trial of the Moroccan journalist and human rights activist, Omar Al-Radi, who has been detained for a year, on charges of “espionage” and “sexual assault” in a closed session “out of respect for the plaintiff’s honor”, while his sympathizers considered the decision a new violation of the terms of a fair trial.
It is noteworthy that Omar Al-Radi, 34, is being prosecuted for “sexual assault” based on a complaint submitted by a female colleague.
The latter confirmed her account before the court, denying “any political nature of the case,” according to what her defense, Abdel Karim Malih, told AFP.
The plaintiff demanded compensation of one million dirhams from Omar Al-Radi
The plaintiff demanded compensation of one million dirhams (about 111,000 dollars).
On the other hand, Al-Radi asserts that their relationship was “consensual,” and his defense tried to convince the court that there were “no means of proof” against him.
Besides him, his journalist colleague, Imad Estito, 32, is also being tried for “participation in rape.”
The latter was the only witness for al-Radi during the initial investigations, but the Public Prosecution later decided to charge him as well.
For his part, Esteto confirmed to the court Al-Radi’s account, according to Agence France-Presse. The two journalists are being pursued together in another trial on charges of “public drunkenness”.
Radi, who is known for his critical views of the authorities, is also facing a charge of “espionage” that appeared during the trial based mainly on his relations with the British companies “G3” and “K2” for economic consultancy, and with a Belgian citizen named “Arnold Simon” who previously worked at the Dutch embassy in Rabat.
The journalist explained to the court that he dealt with the two companies to complete two studies on investing in a Moroccan company and planting palm trees.
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However, the Public Prosecution confirmed that these relations “smell the smell of espionage,” according to a lawyer from his defense.
As for his relationship with Simon, he stressed that it was in a purely journalistic context, while the Public Prosecution considered that the “pseudonym” of a person whose identity could not be reached.
In turn, Simon confirmed Al-Radi’s account in an open letter, last week, calling for him to appear before the court, but the latter rejected the request and rejected all requests from the defendant’s defense.
Radi was arrested following the issuance of an Amnesty International report accusing the authorities of “spying on his phone”, which Rabat strongly denied, calling on the organization to reveal its evidence.
He had previously been arrested for allegedly “harming the judiciary” over a Twitter post, but was convicted of a four-month suspended prison sentence in March 2020, after a wide campaign of solidarity.
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