Morocco: 12 years in prison for journalist Taoufik Bouachrine

Taoufik Bouachrine. Photo: Akhbar Al-Yaoum

Casablanca, Morocco (ADV) – The founder of the Akhbar Al-Yaoum newspaper, journalist Taoufik Bouachrine, is sentenced to 12 years in prison and 200,000 DH fine for abuse of power for sexual purposes, rape and attempted rape, local media reports.

Arrested in February at the offices of his newspaper during a spectacular police operation and imprisoned since then, the director of the independent daily Akhbar Al-Yaoum was tried by the Criminal Division of the Court of Appeal of Casablanca who recognized him guilty of all counts.

The influential journalist was risking 20 years in prison. His lawyers had pleaded for his acquittal.

The charge is based on complaints, testimonies and about fifty videos of sexual frolics seized in his office during his arrest.

These very explicit images, some of which have leaked in the press, show “abject practices”, according to the plaintiffs’ lawyers.

The case has seen several twists since the opening of the trial: four women cited as “victims” by the prosecution have denied being concerned. One of them was sentenced to six months in prison for accusing the police of falsifying her statement, a sentence confirmed on appeal this week. Others refused to appear in court.

Taoufik Bouachrine had already been prosecuted: in 2009 for a disrespectful caricature of the royal family and the national flag, in 2015 for a detrimental article “to the reputation of Morocco”, early 2018 for “defamation” to the two ministers.

© Bur-csa – N.W – African Daily Voice (ADV)