September 10, 2009
C.A. DROITS HUMAINS
5 Rue Gambetta - 92240 Malakoff - France
Phone: (33-1) 4092-1588 * Fax: (33-1) 4654-1913
Around 3:00 am of Tuesday 28.07.2009, the Primary Court of Salé (Morocco) issued its ruling regarding the detainees in the so called "Beleirej case." The sentences varied among the 35 defendants between unimplemented one year and life imprisonment for Mr. Beleirej.
As to the "six political detainees" who were included in this case their sentences varied between two years’ imprisonment for Mr. Hamid Al-Najibi, member of the Unified Socialist Party,20 years for Dr. Al-Abadla Ma’aleinin, leade in the Justice and Development Party, and Mr. Abdel Hafiz Al-Sereity, correspondent for Al-Manar TV satellite channel, and 25 years for each; Mr. Mohammed Marwani, Secretary - General of the Nation’s Party, Mustafa Al-Moatasim, Secretary - General of the Modern Alternative Party, and Dr. Mohammed Al-Amin Al-Rakala, Spokesman.
Charges against detainees were "threatening the internal and the forming criminal gangs aiming at committing terrorist acts within the framework of a collective project aimed at imposing serious threats to the public order by intimidation, detection, trafficking and possession of weapons and firearms to be used in the implementation of terrorist plans, forging official documents and identity theft, collection of funds, properties and assets for the implementation of terrorist plans money laundering and theft."
It is worth mentioning that throughout a year and a half of consecutive hearings the Court could not prove them guilty, including Mr. Abdel Qadir Beleirej, the main defendant in the case, whose relation with some was their main charge.
Before the court issued its ruling, the six defendants were given the chase to say their final words during the last court hearing on Monday 27.06.09 followed by a judges meeting (the Court was chaired by the Cheif Judge Mr. Benshaqroun, two chancellors, representative of the General Prosecution and a clerk). This process was meant to indicate that verdicts were not ready, that judiciary is independent and verdicts are fair, where in fact testimonies regarding defendants, including testimonies of government officials, prove that these people have fine reputation, good manners and distinctive cultural, social and political activities.
While waiting for the court’s ruling, the families of detainees, lawyers, journalists from different newspapers, magazines and TV channels, as well as representatives of human rights NGOs and others in solidarity with detainees from different political, trade unions gathered as they did not believe the official story and established a national committee in solidarity with detainees on 21.04.2008. The gathering was surrounded by security forces who tried to prevent some from entering the Court’s building and stayed until the gathering broke up there after hearing the court’s ruling and they went demonstrating inside the court to express their denunciation to the court’s ruling and solidarity with detainees and express their sorrow for the situation of the judiciary in Morocco and how it became subject to security and political arrangements.
Since the first Court hearing in 16.10.2008, the Arab Committee on Human Rights, in coordination with the High Commissioner for Human Rights and Countering-Terrorism Division, was following the details case and the file of the six political detainees.
During the beginning of the observation it was supported by the Arab Institute for Development and Citizenship and the French Observatory for human rights. This was in accordance to the decision taken by several Arab human rights organizations which was issued in Kiev during the month of April of the same year and so ACHR send many observatory including the editor of this report, the Chairman of ACHR, Dr. Haytham Manna, spokesman of ACHR and Dr. Moncef Al-Marzouqi ACHR’s first Chairman and they attended many hearings. Delegations of European observatories included M. Fausto Guidesi.
It should be noted that Moroccan authorities allowed everyone to attend the hearings and allowed all activities in solidarity with detainees inside Morocco and it also did not prevent any lawyer or member of the families of detainees from travelling to participate in solidarity seminars outside Morocco and it also allowed independent Moroccan newspapers to publish different viewpoints in this serious matter.
It is note worthy that Judge Banshqroun, the Court and General Prosecution agreed to have a meeting before one of the hearings with Dr. Haytham Manna and MM. Abdel Rahem Al-Gamie, Abdel Rahman Ben Amr and Khaled Al-Sofiani as they welcomed the presence of an international observer and for the case to be followed up and by ACHR during all hearings and sessions.
Important aspects of physical and psychological safety of detainees and detention conditions were reviewed during the meeting. This was due to the criticism against arrest conditions and taking confessions under threats as well as detainees being subject to inhuman treatment, repression and oppression..
it is clear that the six political detainees, especially after the Moroccan, Arab and international campaigns in solidarity with them were treated well in prison compared to the treatment defendants in terrorism cases usually receive, however this did not include the rest of detainees.
It could be said that the Chief Judge listened to the lawyers during the Court Hearings and rarely interrupted them and the interventions of the Attorney-General presenter was not on the level of debate, but the Court’s ruling, since the beginning, of not giving the defendants provisional release or dealing realistically with the data and updates is a reminder of the usual in Morocco, “lawyers say what they want and the judge does as he was told”
From the first reading to the arrests and with the company of seventeen human rights activists from eight Arab human rights organizations and according to the primary reports issued by the Moroccan Association for Human Rights and the Moroccan Centre for Human Rights as well as the assessment of many volunteering lawyers for the defence of the six detainees, it was concluded that this is an arbitrary arrest for the six political detainees and their inclusion in this case is a very serious matter, and this does not only threaten those concerned or the families of those involved of important figures in licensed political parties in terrorism cases, but it threatens the whole country, its reputation and the process of reform and change.
The main concern is of the judiciary which again had provided the proof that it is reliable or capable of providing impartial and fair provisions, especially in political cases and it resports to artificial court hearings that does not mount to the required level in a country that is supposed to be a model in democratic change and becoming a state of law after years of using bullets, Tazmamart Prison and so on.
Defense and Circumstances
According to the chapters of this case and will be reviewed, these charges were ready long ago before it is pronounced by the judiciary against 35 defendants who were charged with affiliating to the most dangerous terrorist cell in the Moroccan history known as « Beleirej Cell ». This became evident when the Minister of Interior, Prime Minister and Minister of Communications disclosed it on 20.02.2008 when he threatened to follow whoever doubts the truth of the official charges. It also became clear once the Prime Minister issued a decree to dissolve Al-Badeel Al-Hadary Party under Article No. 57 of Moroccan Partisan Law as well as the issuance of the judiciary ruling in 28.02.2008, before defendants stand before the investigating judge, to stop Al-Ummah party from being formed and also before the General Prosecution follows the defendants and refused to give copies of the records and documents of the case.
Its note worthy that the investigating judge had only started the interrogation process after three months and defendants were not presented before the Court before 28.02.2009, thus demonstrating that this is a campaign to politicise the Court, a political invasion in the affairs of the judiciary and an attempt to control the trial.
As the difference and contradiction between Mr. Abdel Qadir Beleirej statements was clear it should be asked on which bases some statements only were approved while ignoring the others especially since the defendant had changed his lawyer in the period between the primary and detailed interrogations.
Beleirej was accused of including the six political detainees in the case as came in the report seen by lawyers on 18.2.1008. however, this report was drafted especially to provide arrest warrant, while the news about two warrants to bar Al-Marawany and Al-Moatasim from travelling leaked to the press before the date on which the report was issued before it and did not mention any thing about the six political figures which means that their arrest was a political decision, previously known as “Beleirej confessions”. The answer for the question on why Beleirej was not followed up in Belgium is simply because he hadn’t committed what he was charged of, however he was sentenced to life imprisonment in a Moroccan Court that lacks integrity and credibility.
Unfortunately, this campaign was accompanied by a number of journalists who started to promote for a big conspiracy against the Kingdom of Morocco. The isolation of Abdel Qadir Beleirej from the whole world and his prevention from having any contact with any member of his family for a whole nine months resulted in further rumours, as some accused Iran of attempting to disturb order in Morocco and some spoke of role for Hizbullah while others did not avoid mentioning a role for Al-Qaeda as well.
Some journalists have allowed themselves to imagine fantasy stuff as they discovered a secret relation between Abu Nidal’s group to the Armed Islamic Group in Algeria to the Shiisim movement through Al-Manar TV channel to prove the accusations of terrorism against Iran and Hizbullah and its TV channels.
This is being proved through the insistence of the security and diplomacy campaign during the recent months in Morocco against Shiia, shiism and shiia books. This is an obvious threat directed at parties and other groups and a justification for the presence of specific security services.
The newspapers which promoted this matter did not allow those who called for their right to defend themselves, instead legal vacuums were used by these e-newspapers to promote serious charges against the politicians detained in this case.
According to statements of people, political detainees were arrested two months before the political detainees’ stress that they were sent to the police department in Dar Al-Bayda to interrogate them under inhuman circumstances and some of them were brought in their pyjamas after they had their homes searched and their books, computers and CDs confiscated with no search warrant.
The defendants stressed before the Court that they were forced to interrogate facts under the torture in the secret police station in Tamara. The defence requested complementary investigations to listen to the Investigation judge who listened to the interrogations of the main defendant in the presence of the person who tortured him. However this request was rejected like other requests. The General Prosecutor resorted to all means to prevent the defence lawyer from visiting their detained clients and when that was achieved and they were able to visit Mustafa Al-Moatasim they all agreed that it was fraud.
Requests from lawyers to release their clients provisionally since their investigation was over were rejected. Lawyers have made it clear that their clients, especially those well known in media and politics, have all the characteristics of the provisional release; that defendants do not have criminal records, responsible for a family and minors, have finished the period of detention pending investigation, ready to stand before the judiciary at any time to pay the material or moral fine, have the right to the legal and Constitutional presumption of innocence and does not, that their release would not pose any threat to public order and security, especially when they are public figures. The General-Prosecution decided that the request for provisional release is not based on a legal cause, although the preseumption of innocence is the original in Moroccan law and is always used in favour of the defendant. In addition to this the case of the six political detainees does not have even one prove against them.
Given that Morocco does not compensate provisional release, we are now seeing an unsujt situation where the importance of the person, the undetermined seriousness of the act, leading to deprivation of the right to liberty, right to work and right to compensate given that the freedom of the defendant wouldn’t not threaten anyone. In addition to this, keeping defendants detain resulted in negative effects on society including the unemployment of a great number of those who work on economical projects. Therefore, more than one lawyer have insisted on lifting the financial inquiries with regards to the relatives of the defendants, as was discussed in one of the hearings of Salah Beleirej, Brother of Abdel Qader, who had cancer and all his money was confiscated, as well as the situation of the father who had his all his properties in his son’s island confiscated.
Unfortunately, the debate on the personal principle of the administrative detention and its relation to the importance of the person with the absence of the seriousness of the act and keeping defendants detained in prisons personal, all needed a realistic legal response by the Attorney-General, however his response was not of legal logic and did not include the previous legal instructions. The request to lift the financial penalties on the relatives of defendants was also refused and the matter of keeping detainees in prison was left to the penal institution.
The defence requested terminating the decision on this case until its decided on the complaint against the investigating judge of frauding the reports and secretly and illegally adding the documents of the international judiciary which were done in Belgium (Documents in French) to the case after the detailed interrogation is finished, describing this as a conspiracy against defendants.
The defence also called for the need to translate the documents which were written in French because it is a matter of sovereignty and is the official language in Morocco, however this request did not help because it didn’t terminate the process of deciding on the case but it only was limited to the translation of some paragraphs orally.
It is worth mentioning that this case if being reviewed by three people who do not know how to write or read in Arabic; the first is Amazigi and the other two speak French and they were not provided with the help of a translator to make them understand the language in which the reports of the investigating judge were written and during the detailed interrogation. They signed the reports written in Arabic without being able to read its contents. As the defence requested the defendants to have their right of having a translator with them, this was provided for the two who could only speak French, while depriving the defendant who speaks the native dialogue from his right to have a translator leaving one of the lawyers to translate for him voluntarily during his presence before the Court. In addition to this , the Minister of Justice did not approve the request on bringing lawyers from Belgium for the main defendant or even against him.
Defendants could not review all the documents and complaint that there were grey dots which they could not understand what it meant.
During the Court’s hearings it was evident that charges are not solid and many documents were manipulated such as having information in Arabic from a defendant who does not speak Arabic and accusations of conspiracy for people who never met each other before and considering that the “Islamic Choice” is an organization established in 1992 as was written in the reports while in fact it was established in 1981 as well as many other big mistakes.
Witnesses were not summoned at the request of the defence, including two ministers who accused defendants before the judiciary issues its ruling and made statements in which they warned anyone who doubts about the official story, and the Chairman of the Advisory Council for Human Rights who testified in a TV program in favour of Mr. Mustafa Al-Moatasim. The court refused requests to allow press cameras to enter the courtroom as it was public hearings, especially that five cameras were set on the wallas of the courtroom without taking permission from anyone, which is illegal and the defence requested its removal and bringing the tapes in order to damage it as defendants refuse being videoed without obtaining their permission. The Court did not allow the entry of cameras to the courtroom and did not order the removal of the cameras set on the wall, despite the fact that the hearings in courtrooms were under strict security guarding while observers were standing in a glass cage.
Defence also objected on not viewing the seized stuff on the defendants during the stage of detailed investigations and requested bringing it before the court during his hearing. Nothing was brought but firearms which were said it belongs to the defendants. Firearms were put on a table for seized stuff before the presence of lawyers inside fence. It was guarded by six security guards who prevented anyone from touching it or getting closer. They staged the scene and viewed it on a magnifying screen. These firearms were presented in an illegal way as it weren’t sealed with red wax. In addition to this, the name of the officer who carried out the seizure was not provided as well as the date of seizure or the name of the person who possessed these seizures without brining experts to examine fingerprints.
The only gun was from Check but the bullets which were shot were not from the same gun, but were made in Check too, which means that there should be at least two guns presented as the armed robbery on the money transferee from a Moroccan bank shows that the gun is made in Brazil, and this raises the question about which report is false and which expert did not say the truth. Therefore, it is not possible to make sure of the gun that was used to the assassination attempt of the Jewish trader Azencot.
During this hearing a long debate started between the defence and the Chief Judge after it became clear that there was a difference between the firearms in the photographs published by the Moroccan newspapers about “the operation of Macro” and the assassination attempt of Azencot in 1994 and those presented in court.
The lawyers and defendants submitted the reports, which were done at that time, about the operation, the news published about arresting the perpetrators, their names and their sentences.
Despite the lack of any indication to the participation of another party in the operation, these reports are brought back again to accuse the detainees using the same story, facts and some particular sentences.
It was funny yet sad at the same time when the defence asked about which one of the defendants has the same characters of the perpetrator, basing his question on the given description of the only witness who saw the assassination attempt. Since there was nothing related with the defendants, the lawyer submitted the report of the judiciary police to the Chief Judge to prove approve his objection, however the Chief Judge did not suspend the hearing session even after the components of the charge weren’t found.
His debate with the lawyers made the Chief Judge leave the courtroom many times without suspending the hearing session which continued over thirteen hours.
The defence also objected to calling the defendants, who has nothing to do with the firearms to see it, but it was rejected by the Chief Judge who called defendants one by one and answers were comic like the questions asked were too.
The short replies by the court were met with violent responses from lawyers who stressed on the seriousness of the legislative setback which led judges to realise the seriousness of the case and made them feel responsible. This security setback led to judicial setback, giving the impression that it was not realised that it is the Moroccan citizen who needs safeguards not the state as we can see the general rights through our reading to the arrest conditions and trial.
Lawyers of the defence saw that dealing with them and the defendants in this way negatively affects the country and give it a bad image and legally requests are not to be rejected without any justifications.
The Prosecution’s response was general and float in a way that affects the concept of personal freedoms. One of the lawyers commented saying "We are facing a case of total follow-up, total arrests and total detention, although the law considers each person”.
The press statement of the defence of the six political prisoners and the National Committee in solidarity with them which was published on 03.08.09 summarized the situation after the court’s ruling that the file is fabricated, false and is not based on any facts. It also added that it is a political decision that tried to be based on fraud reports which are attributed to the defendants and deprive them from their full rights of defence, including getting access to copies of the reports and documents, and summoning main witnesses to reveal the truth.
During all stages of the trial the Court insisted strongly to keep the reality of the file , follow-up and the story of the Minister of Interior remained the only reality as the Court refused all defences and there serious requests, including summoning main witnesses and appealing against taken processes “primary research, search, arrest, detention, flagrante delicto, torture, fraud reports, etc..)
The defence has also submitted all documents, statements, articles and investigations conducted with the political detainees who all proved the official story wrong. Moreover, it stressed their political positions of national matters such as monarchy, national unity, establishing a State of law, renunciation of violence and the importance of political participation within the framework of accepting intellectual and political diversity and the adoption of dialogue and peaceful strives.
In his assessment of the case, Mustafa Soulaih, member of the Arab Commission for Human Rights, who attended some hearings stressed that" While the Kingdom of Morocco continues to remain at the top of the list of countries in which corruption, suppression of freedom of expression and opinion spread and where the judiciary is not independent and where official state officers are not being held account and with the unimplemented legal obligations from the human rights standards of respect, protection and fulfilment, especially in the field of social, economic, cultural and environmental development rights. Despite all that Morocco, after nearly a decade, is the only country which still adopting the so-called Anti-Terrorism law and uses it in the prosecution of individuals, groups and other opponents as hostages subject to theoretical guardianship, investigation, detention pending investigation, imprisonment, or other forms of monitoring and spying and this could take as long as political, financial decision makers and their international allies decide.
In her presentation entitled "The circumstances of the arrest of the six politicians" which was presented in the seminar "Human rights in Morocco" (organized by the Arab Commission for Human Rights in Malakoff, Paris on 13.09.2008), Ms. Sakina Qada, coordinator of the families of the six detainees in Morocco stressed that "Those political activists are nationally and internationally well-known figures. Authorities did not need to resort to taking actions that affect their dignity and rights and which are contrary to the law in order to investigate them.. These honourable are known with their belief in working according to the law and Constitution and the adoption of moderation in their views and their absolute rejection to resorting to any form of violence, extremism and terrorism and their believe in the legislative political work, dialogue and democracy.
Responses of Defendants
Hamid Al-Najibi was the first one to be presented before the court. His defence appealed against the fraud report of the judicial police as the Prosecution was telling the defendant of what he had done to the security men who were dressed in civilian clothes that resulted in his arrest and being brought to the police station. Investigations with him were being conducted while he was blindfolded and handcuffed, in addition to this, investigators were violent with him and slapped his face whenever they heard answers they did not like, as well as strangling him with their hands, kicking and cursing him”.
Since the defendant was a professor of industrial technology has was accused of manufacturing explosives for Beleirej Cell, even though he denied any relationship with the alleged leader of this cell except of the drugs received from Belgium by him.
“I have never met Beleirej or got to know him, because there were many people who were bringing the medicine my brother used to send to my father (May he rest in peace) from Belgium and Beleirej was not one of them.... the progressive democratic youth movement to which I belong is a left-wing movement... could it be possible for any normal sensible person to have stated such a thing before the judicial police and say that there are leftist progressive democratic youth wishing to make Jihad in Morocco? This is not my statement and I appeal against it as fraud.
If the statements of the defence acquitted the six political detainees from all charges and denounce the official story and insist on having their full rights, but the statements of the detainees in defence of themselves is the biggest prove of innocence and it should be left to the reader to decide after having a look at some parts of the statements of the other five detainees:
*In the presentation of MR. Mustafa Al-Moatasim on 07 and 12 May 2009 he says:
“Around 20 people started searching the house and confiscated hundreds of books from the library and placed it in plastic bags taken from the kitchen. Different books, such as a book about Moroccan cooking for Andalusia. They took many CDs including a set of classic music CDs. They also broke into the bedroom and confiscated nearly 50Kg of personal documents which i wrote about orientalism, Judaism, the events of 16 May, the dessert case. They also violated the sanctity of my privacy by searching my closet. In addition to this they confiscated my laptop and my children’s computer”.
"After that they took me to Al-Maarif detention center where they psychologically tortured me in a series that started with offense to human dignity by beating, intimidating and threatening to torture me with a bottle, in addition to insulting and cursing me while I was blindfolded and handcuffed. There were three to four guards who took shifts near my bed to prevent me from sleeping and keeping the lights on all the time for investigations to continue until dawn, in addition to the dirty place and lack of hygienic food. I was also prevented from making Wudu for there are no modern toilets in Al-Maarif, the thing which made me fast for about one week, where i used to eat very little to survive”.
“Interrogations took place on Monday and Tuesday where i had to sign on 15 reports, however they investigated once again on Thursday where one of them told me that weapons get smuggled into Morocco and that Beleirej killed five Jews and Israel would “take its trousers off for Morocco” before asking me to cooperate with them. Invistigators told me immediately after the press conference held by the Minister of Interior that officials are not satisfied with the reports which were made earlier and that it had to be drafted for them to interrogate me once again violently”.
“Thus, the Minister of Interior put the investigation in the direction he wanted, where conviction came before investigation. The arrest took place on 18.02.2008 and the press conference was held on 20.03.2008, where I was charged and they dissolved Al-Badeel Al-Hadary Party and reinvestigated me in 21.02.2008, Sunday evening at 10:00am. I was then asked to sign the reports while the lights were dimmed and I was without my glasses. I signed on 30 reports and I was allowed to read only one copy of it and sign on the others without having a look at it as they fraud it”.
“I answered police when they told me “you were followed-up because you didn’t report the cell” saying that I didn’t know of its existence and I have known about the existence of any organization that would threaten the peace and security of citizen I would have reported it. The only time I knew was through someone who called me from Roma telling me that there would be terrorist attacks happening soon during the summer of 2003- and here I correct and say 2003 not 2005, unlike what Ahmed Harzany stated- and the attacks would be aimed at sensitive installations. So I immediately called Ahmed Harzany, who is currently the chairman of the Advisory Council for Human Rights and told him and asked him to urgently contact one of the security officials to take quick and appropriate actions”.
In his defence, Al-Moatasim added “regarding the meeting in Tangier, it was just a regular meeting like other hundreds of meetings which we had in preparation for a political initiative. It was an introductory meeting where we were the Islamic choice trend was introduced to us and we analysed the current political situation in our country and the geostrategic changes in the world. After listening to us Mr. Beleirej asked a question about if we think of having a strong presence in Europe due to the strong presence of Moroccans abroad and also because the Ministry of Interior would hinder any political initiative and seek its destruction and this is what makes it valuable to be present abroad. Mr. Beleirej did not ask to be represented abroad as it was only an introductory meeting and i never met him again until we met here in the court and I wasn’t able to know identify who he was”.
“The reports also say that we forged our plans to attack Jews and this is not true. Attacking Jews and their intimidations is from the strategies of Zionists, Mosad and their agents. I do not rule out that Zionist gangs and their supporters could be behind the attacks on Jews who could use the naivety of some. We wish Jews in Morocco return to their countries and leave Palestine for its people and Morocco lives in peace once again.The Modern Alternative Party does not mind the presence of Jewish citizens as long as they abide by its goals”
“since the judge didn’t ask me about the “Macro operation” because I took the initiative and told him as he was going to give the floor to the Prosecution “you didn’t ask me sir about “Macro operation” which the reports provided that it was my idea since 1994 and that i was monitoring Macro’s shopping centre for three months to put a plane.. I told him the reports of the police provided that i was monitoring the centre from a coffee shop inside the centre based on the allegations that i was working in the High School for Teachers in Casablanca and that i was monitoring the centre after work. They thought I was living Ribat and worked in Casablanca. Sir, in 1994 I was working in the High School for Teachers in Fez and living in Fez which is 250km away from Casablanca. I only moved to life in Casablanca in 1999 when i was appointed in Casablanca, so how could it be possible for me to monitor the Macro shopping centre in Casablanca daily for three months when I’m actually living in Fez?”
“Sir, we are facing a conspiracy led by new Oufkirs [General Oufkir, in charge of repression and torture, who was liquidated by King Hassan II in 1972, after a plot against him, Transl. Note] or new troublemakers against the youth of the Islamic movement as they only want the see Muslims killed, bombed or imprisoned.. They do not consider us as citizens like them. My imprisonment is a conspiracy to punish us for out stances from the political arrangements. We should be imprisoned. The Justice and Development Party which was accused of 16.05.2003 events is being threatened as it had been hacked. The Unified Socialist Party is being punished for opening their headquarters for us to hold our party’s founding conference.. I’m afraid that Morocco would fall into the trap of terrorism which would bring the country back live in a situation similar to that of Algeria and Tunisia. I also warn against repeating the same scenario which was the result of insulting some youth by the government during the 70s”.
He concluded his speech saying “founding the Modern Alternative Party was not done through the Ministry of Interior and some people did not like that. The king has sent us in this regard and required the Ministry of Endowment to discuss the matter with us until we get the legal recognition. These conspirators wanted to send a strong message that bypassing them was huge mistake. I have nothing to do with Beleirej Cell because it already does not exist. The only network to which I belong and was one of its founders is the Global Arab Democrats Network”.
* The presentation of M. Mohammed Marwani
He Stressed in his defence on 14.05.2009 that this trial lacks the conditions of a fair trial because "the case is being discussed without the presence of the means of proof, including the seized stuff and witnesses." He expressed his willingness to cooperate in order to reveal the truth, pointing out that legal logic requires facts that "of exact knowledge that what happened had really happened" and that charges cannot be built on suspicious and gossips.
He submitted a list of his stance from topics like violence and extremism during his participation in the Islamic Choice, as the Movement is for the nation then the National party.
He said that there is a political decision from certain bodies to involve him in this case, pointing out to what the Ministry of Interior had said in a press conference held on 20.022008 that he was the commander of the Cell, while in fact an official from the Ministry of Interior visited him during his investigation at the headquarter of the judicial police and told him “We know that you have nothing to do with this file".
Al-Marwani pointed out that officers from the judicial police have given him the report on 24.02.2008 evening and asked him to sign, so he read it and corrected by some stuff. Then they gave him the corrected report and he read it but once he wanted to sign it he found himself surrounded with many people who asked him to sign many papers as they allegedly saying that these are copies of the correct report and he signed it on these basis, however he found out that the tricked him to sign a fraud report when he saw the attached report in the case. Al-Marwani commented on this forgery, saying "Petty on the judicial police".
In response to the questions of the Attorney- General, he stressed that the meeting of summer of 1992 in Tangier was the first and last meeting with Beleirej. He pointed out to the contradiction between reports which provided that the Cell carried out robberies in 1994 to finance the establishment of “the Bridge Newspaper” which was launched in 1992.
He asked sarcastically, "How could it possible for the Cell to have 17 billion and its members suffer financially?"
He concluded his speech saying that he has the evidence that this file is fraud pointing out to “Macro Operation” in 1994 contained in the reports, and he surprised the court when he submitted to them a copy of the Socialist Union’s newspaper dated 29...1994. The newspaper contained a report by the Ministry of Interior stressing that authorities arrested everyone involved in the Macro’s robbery, and then he addressed the court saying: "How could we be charged with crimes of other people after they had been tried before”.
* Dr. Mohamed Al-Amin Al-Rakala stressed the following statement in 15.05.2009
"I stand before you with charges which the Prosecution did not provide any evidence for, charges that are based on fraud reports refuted by reason and logic and refute by political and intellectual position. This is a political trial that seeks the arrangement of the arena by force according to narrow and limited accounts based on the logic of subjecting political parties to an agenda that are contrary to all efforts made and being made to establish a suitable environment democratic transition. This democratic overturn targeted strong parties by restricting some and destroying the others”
“We should recall local events starting from July 1999, the day during which the rule was passed down from King to King who declared the beginning of a new era. Although this Declaration gave hope to the majority of and brought a new hope, it terrified the beneficiaries of the old era. At the international level, the former USA administration led by George Bush has led a systematic attack on the Arab and Islamic nations as witnessed in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine under the slogan of countering-terrorism.”
“Most of these countries will get involved in this war producing groups directly benefiting from the support provided by the administration of the US and will be linked closely with war as the alleged attacks of 16 May would provide them with the necessary conditions to do anything they desire in the country and its people without being held accountant. Thus they will use this crime to weaken their political enemies and abolish them. Our party was targeted because we used our right to organization which would never be forgiven by the political decision and redrawing the political map was their chance to get revenge from our courage.”
“You know that the extremists do not believe in partnership and cooperation, but their main concern is to eradicate and exclude their opponents, so are we like that?”
Al-Rakala concluded his speech saying “our stance from terrorism was and is still clear. Therefore, it was not sufficient for us when our country was attacked with terrorist attacks on 16 May to publish a denunciation statement but we contributed to the organization of the national campaign to counter-terrorism. We also carried out campaigns to raise the awareness of the dangers terrorism on our people, nation and institutions. The Modern Alternative Party called for the formation of a national front to counter corruption on 08.10.2006 and we stressed that forming this front is a historical necessity. Our demands of purifying the judiciary and security agencies of the corrupts and without forming parties with no election forgers and drug dealers and without bringing to suit those who loot public fund and perpetrators of gross human rights violations, then these statement about the democratic change and the project of modernization will become forgotten in a day.”
* Mr. Abdel-Hafiz Al-Siriti gave the following statement before the court in the hearing session on 19.05.2009
“I have two notes, the first: the statements attributed to me in the report of the judicial police were breached and forged on four levels, the first: the report included an incident that i have never spoken of it at all.
The second: there is a forged incident which its nature and place were changed deliberately to meet the official story and the date it was given.
The third: general incidents i was asked about but investigators put it in the report uncompleted and misrepresented the content of it.
The fourth and last: there were questions which I had been asked but where never mentioned in the report.
The next note is that I am here standing before you as a person without reference to any association or political affiliation, as I ended my last association experience since 2000 and therefore I consider my trial as a trial to my views and stances. Moreover, this trial is a trial of historical era from last century, in particular 1987.
After being deported to the prison of Salé, particularly after reading the content of the symposium organized by the Minister of Interior Chakib Benmoussa, I realised the reason behind the investigator’s insistence on forging the date which I spoke of.
The deliberate confusion between Tangier’s meeting which was attended by Abdel Qader Beleirej in 1992 and the students meeting about the political matter in 1989 and two meetings took place in very different times.
The second incident was added to my interrogation report which was the so-called attempt to steal a car that belonged to the water and electricity company during 1990. However according to their allegations and imaginations and to also add some credibility to their story we decided, as written in the report, to refrain from this attempt. This fabricated incident is intended to smear my reputation and involve me in this case which is weaker than a spider’s net and I am so sure that days will reveal which body which was behind which fabricated this file and their intentions.
It is strange sir for the same person who follows and praises Iran while praising terrorism too, since Iran had made people busy with it during war and peace too.
It is not forbidden for a citizen to be interested in sociological studies and to work on the phenomena of transformation and change which was applied to a whole era. Why did I choose Al-Manar TV channel? It is known to all, Sir, that in 2000 there were no more than four Arabic TV channels which has correspondents from and these channels are MBC, Al Jazeera, Abu Dhabi and Al-Manar, it should be noted that it is a personal freedom and I did not have any other choice as each journalist was working with one of these channels”
Al-Siriti concludes his speech saying “I have seen the reports and signed it on stages late at night. At the beginning, the officer handed me a primary copy and asked me to have a look at it and correct it if I had any notes.
At the second stage he showed me a copy of the report including the corrections and amendments i made to the first copy and I signed it after looking at it.
At the third stage he showed me a number of copies, I cannot recall how many, and asked me to sign it. With regards to the search warrant, he asked me to write it down and sign it on 24.02.2008 despite the fact that my house was searched took place on 12.02.2008 at 7:30 am and instead of writing the date in which i signed the warrant then put it 19.02.2008”.
In 21.05.2009, Dr. Al-Abadla Ma’aleinin stressed the following:
"The events which started fifteen months ago reveals two essential facts; The first is legal, as was clear from the requests and artificial defences formal, breaching the law became the original while respecting law became exceptional. The second fact is the violation of the standards of fair trial, starting from the presumption of innocence that has been obscured in the seminar the Minister of Interior in 20.02.2008 to depriving us from having copies of the reports of the judicial police leading to detailed investigation, and depriving us from the provisional release, despite the fact that there was no flagrante delicto and all conditions and legal safeguards were fulfilled and last but not least, the exclusion of witnesses and the postponement of the so-called “seized stuff”.
Ma’aleinin finished his testimony by asking: "the person standing before you had spent many nights in debate and dialogue with the dozens of the deserts’ young people both from his tribe and from other tribes in order to guide and persuade them to get involved in politics and to use the proof and evidence with supporters of the separatist theory in the hope of attracting them to the theory of unity.
Here I ask a legitimate question “do those who involved me in the case really want those young people in get involved in political and engage in the national democratic reform?! Is it through these political calculations we could build bridges of trust and grow seeds of hope?! Or is there those who really benefit from the state of deadlock, doubt and suspicion, because it achieves political purposes and other benefits? "
Throughout the trial, only paradoxes, contradictions and violations became clear without providing even single evidence on the validity of the charges attributed to the convicts, who were subjected to unjust sentences.
There is no doubt that many questions arise for lawyers, human rights defenders and supporters of the independence of the judicial power such as;
Who is the beneficiary and for who’s interest is it to turn innocents to victims due to fabricates crimes that do not have anything to do with preserving the security of Moroccan citizens against the threats of terrorism or its development socially and economically?
Are the violations in this case an indicator to the start of an intimidation strategy to reformist political movements using the so-called “war on terrorism the so-called war on terror?
Are we facing new means of political filtration through the fabrication of charges and sentences by instructed judges?
Is what we have seen is the policy of subjecting political figures to beg for mercy and to get revenge from them by the imposition of tough imprisonment sentences? Is the next step, the appeal, is going to will go through the same intransigence in taking unfair decisions or would there be someone who still has a professional conscience and love of the homeland and prevent and deter the accumulation of unjust accusations against the oppressed and innocent people?
In a final statement in this case, a lawyer of the defence asked Mr. Khaled Al-Sofiani If there was anyone that would be bothered to have the homeland built on stable basis that would keep the nation secured and stable. He also wondered about whom it might be that wants to send messages at this time after it had considered that opening the doors to a party with an Islamic background is a punishable crime.
Whom might it bother to have lights of freedoms after years of ruling with the bullets?
Who is it that might feel that the stability of morocco poses a threat on his interests and future, even though he sees that the history of morocco is full trials of public opinion, parties, organizations and press? This is a unique case because it had been fabricated and its figures were identified in the Ministry of Interior, so those defendants who work for the dignity of the nation became considered as playing too roles, one in public and one in secret.
But if these parties were involved in terrorist acts, why weren’t all the members of these parties summoned?
As he considered this as a political case, he addressed those "sitting behind the cameras" because they are destroying the country with these practices, while citizens want genuine democracy and a real, not artificial, political competition. The construction of Morocco cannot be completed unless there is an independent and impartial judiciary that would provide it with all means to take its independent role as the era of ministries has ended.
If we were to follow the situation of this case during the next weeks and months, while hoping for a political breakthrough in Morocco that would result in better living for the people of Morocco and the involvement of the officials in building the country other nations to keep up peoples and nations that are competing in the march of progress and civilization. In fact we fear further escalation. The question here is open about what the relationship between Israel, Zionism and internal supporters in Morocco and the fabrication of this file and other files.
According to the assertion by the defence lawyers that the political detainees who worked for interest of Morocco and giving it a better reputation and also worked for the Arab and Islamic cases and for Palestine, have also struggled to replace the word" Jews with Zionism”, as Judaism like Islam, Christianity and other religions should cooperate. They are members of committees where Jews have shown solidarity with the Justice and Development Party and the Nation’s Party, so how could such allegation of their attempt to assassinate a person for being a Jew said?
The question is supports by the statement of Mr. Mohammed Marwani in his testimony that the Minister of Interior has accused him in a press conference of being the leader of cell but this was denied by another official from the same Ministry of Interior when he told him while visiting him “we know you have nothing to do with this case”, in addition to the testimony of Mustafa Al-Moatasim who said “I was re-investigated on Thursday, as someone told me that weapons were smuggled into Morocco and Beleirej killed five Jews and Israel would “take its trousers off for Morocco” before asking me to cooperate on behalf of the homeland”. The forged reports provided that we also planned to attack Jews and this is not true and is a lie. Attacking Jews and their intimidations is from the strategies of Zionists, Mossad and their agents. I do not rule out that Zionist gangs and their supporters could be behind the attacks on Jews who could use the naivety of some.
We wish Jews in Morocco return to their countries and leave Palestine for its people and Morocco lives in peace once again.
The joint statement of the National Working Group to Support Palestine and Iraq and the Moroccan Association for Support of the Palestinian Struggle and the activities of the three national conferences in Morocco which was issued on 07.09.2009 links events and emphasises the growing Israeli and Zionist role in Morocco , where the statement condemned the various initiatives to normalize relations with the Zionists , both formal and informal Moroccan, Arab and Islamic, requiring Moroccan officials to put an end to everything which is being said through the Zionist media and from it to the Western media of declaring the impossibility of participating in the military exercises of NATO under if the Zionist entity participated, and to falsify the allegations about the preparations to open the Moroccan airspace to the Israeli airlines and the rumours of bringing back relations with the Jewish State.
The statement also called Moroccan officials to stand in the face of all normalization initiatives which the Moroccan citizen consider in their millionist marches as a national betrayal and to stand firmly in the face of all attempts to cause ethnic and sectarian sedition in Morocco as the agents of the Israeli and USA intelligence agents insist on tarnishing the reputation of the Moroccans by allowing Zionist terrorism and working on implementing its normalizing plans and the declaration once again of the Amazigh Zionist Friendship Association.
The statement clarified that Moroccans were surprised to find an Israeli magazine being sold in Moroccan shops which turned out to be distributed to it without authorization, followed by the invasion of the Israeli dates to the markets, the declaration of denounced participation of the Moroccan military attache in Washington in a farewell ceremony to the Israeli military attache in his home, the news leaked out about the rise of the rate of trade between Morocco and the Jewish state and opening the Moroccan airspace, like some Arab countries did, for the Israeli aircrafts to pass and allowing those who have Israeli stamps in their passport to enter its territory, and its willingness to open a liaison office and to restore relations with the Zionists in case settlement stooped and the resumption of negotiations between the Palestinians and the Jewish state.
Benshetraet, President of the World Federation of Moroccan Jews has disclosed that a high percentage of Israeli tourists came to Morocco. He also announced that a high-ranking Israeli delegation, including members from the Israeli Knesset and leaders of the Moroccan community, had visited Morocco and held an important meeting.