After several months of trial, the court of first instance of Casablanca issued its verdict in the case of Taoufiq Bouachrine, director of the daily Akhbar Al Yaoum.
Persecuted for rape, harassment and trafficking in human beings, Taoufiq Bouachrine was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment.
The president of the court suspended the hearing to proceed with the deliberations, by the way, announced the end of the closed session. Several journalists entered the courtroom to hope to get statements by lawyers. Prior to the trial, the defendant admitted in his last court address that he had "consenting" sexual relations with the victims and that he had paid his writings against the "Saudi regime". .
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During the oral discussions, the defenders of the complainants and the civil party assured that the experience acquired by the technical laboratory of the national gendarmerie confirmed that it was indeed Taoufiq Bouachrine that appears in the seized video recordings. The defense of the defendants had another opinion. According to Mohamed Ziane, the sequences seized by the authorities and projected during the month of Ramadan were shot "in the dark", which does not allow to distinguish the actors.
The "verdict" of the Royal Gendarmerie laboratory is without appeal: "65 videos are authentic". Grouped in a hard drive owned by Bouachrine, according to the indictment, they were seized on the day of his arrest. Bouachrine, for his part, had denied any connection with the videos seized by explaining that he was not the owner of the seized material (camera and hard drive).
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At the trial, the complainants' evidence constituted the main evidence against the detainee, despite the withdrawal of some of the complainants. Faced with some testimonies, Bouachrine preferred to leave the courtroom of the Court of Casablanca. In the absence of a clear defense strategy, the Bouachrine lawyers tried to "politicize" the process, explaining that Bouachrine was a victim of revenge and political-judicial machinations.