Official judicial response to Bouachrine lawyer’s statement

Judicial source exposes many fallacies in the statement of British lawyer Rodney Dickson defending Moroccan journalist in a sex scandal case.

CASABLANCA - A judicial source replied to a statement of British lawyer Rodney Dickson (who is the international lawyer of Taoufik Bouachrine) which he called an urgent communication addressed to the United Nations in order to end the arbitrary detention of the Moroccan journalist.

The source said that the British lawyer's statement was astonishing because it was full of lies and exaggerations, which - although aimed at undermining the achievements and positive gains attained by Morocco in the field of human rights that have been hailed by the United Nations and other international organizations - in fact harm both the character of the "adviser" as a lawyer and his client, Mr. Taoufik Bouachrine, as a Moroccan citizen who was supposed to take pride in his country’s national institutions and respect national justice, especially in the first year of the judiciary’s independence from the legislative and executive authorities besides the dissolution of the public prosecution from the executive authority in a unique legal experience that has drawn attention to Morocco and has been followed by the most comparative judicial experiences at the Arab, European and international levels.

 To expose the many fallacies in the statement, the source made the following observations:

1 - The arrest of Mr. Taoufik Bouachrine and his referral to trial for the dangerous charges of rape, sexual violence, human trafficking, inciting people to prostitution and sexual assault against many victims, most of whom are institutional workers and under his authority, took place on a judicial order taken in accordance with the statutory regulations stipulated by law and in full respect of international human rights treaties that were ratified by the Kingdom of Morocco and which are an integral part of the Moroccan legal system.

The Court has confirmed the validity of the legality of the pre-trial investigation and prosecution proceedings and rejected the preliminary and formal pleadings relating to it, which were raised by the defence of the accused after extensive discussions that lasted several days;

2 - The subject of prosecutions against Mr. Taoufik Bouachrine has nothing whatsoever to do with the nature of his journalistic work and the freedom of opinion and expression guaranteed by law. The attempt to link his prosecution with some of his journalistic writings is simply a claim aimed at covering the criminal acts committed against a group of at least 15 women victims of human trafficking and sexual exploitation of all kinds under both the material and moral influence by the concerned on female journalists, and practiced in his office, which instead of being a platform for free opinion, was used as a place for excluding and enslaving the employees. Therefore, this claim is inadmissible and a blatant manoeuvre with an abject purpose to try to influence the course of the ongoing trial he is facing and the decisions of the judiciary that is considering his case;

3 - Mr. Taoufik Bouachrine has so far enjoyed all the guarantees of a fair trial throughout all its stages. The Court responded to his defence requests by summoning witnesses and hearing all those involved with his defence responsibly and objectively despite the deviation of a large part of them from the case’s subject and context, and despite the exploitation of some members of the defence of their immunity to abuse the values ​​and ethics of the profession of law and damage its nobility and glory unfortunately as pointed out by statements released by the Bar Association and some lawyers’ unions, particularly the Casablanca Bar Association.

All those who follow the court hearings praise the judges' wisdom, reason and sagacity in running the public prosecution. This is what many observers, including some of the members of the defence itself, witnessed. How can the British lawyer, who is not in charge of the case nor attend its hearings, claim that the judges of the court lack independence and impartiality..;

4 - The trial of the accused is still ongoing in accordance with the constitutional procedures established by law. The defence of the accused advances all the requests and observations it deems appropriate to ensure the rights of his defence in the trial, which are discussed by the independent and impartial governing authority and which is not subject to any authority other than the rule of law, and which alone evaluates the means of proof and rules according to its firm conviction and in accordance with the law. Its ruling is subject to an appeal and then cassation;

5 - The judicial police professionally and objectively dealt with the case of the accused Taoufik Bouachrine under the supervision of the Public Prosecution and in full respect for the rule of law n this regard, in terms of the constitutional guarantees of the accused, bringing on one hand the constitutional guarantees of the accused, and on the other hand the duty of protecting the victims and guaranteeing their rights as stipulated by law and international human rights charters. This was demonstrated in previous public debates and from the submissions of the defence of the accused. It became clear that the search procedures were sound. Decisions were therefore issued by the Court as the accused and his defence contest them by lodging an appeal;

6 - The referral of Mr. Taoufik Bouachrine directly to the trial is an appropriate judicial procedure, which took place after his case was confirmed to be ready for trial in accordance with the Moroccan Code of Penal Procedure. There was no legal reason to refer the case to the investigation. Also, the investigation into the case is not compulsory, and the discretion of the public prosecutor’s office to resort to it is optional. Moreover, this procedure does not in any way affect the defence rights of the accused since the guarantees of a fair trial at the trial stage, in an open, confrontational and oral manner, remain more important and stronger than the investigative stage, which is dominated by secrecy. Furthermore, this point was raised before the Court and the parties pleaded on the matter (including the defence of the accused) in several hearings. It ended with a ruling confirming the validity of the prosecution and rejecting the defence’s objections because they were founded neither factually nor legally;

7 – The apparent statement claiming that the Moroccan authorities fabricate evidence of the crimes attributed to Mr. Taoufik Bouachrine, including the evidence of an alleged victim who filed a complaint against the officer who listened to her and whom she accused of falsifying her statements is a false claim because the investigation into the case showed that the person concerned was lying as evidenced by the videotape shown by the Public Prosecutor's Office, in which the person concerned appears reading aloud her statements, which corresponded to what was written in the record without adding or changing anything. This led to her prosecution and sentence in the first instance to six months in jail for a serious allegation involving false accusations and explicit insult to the judiciary. The inclusion of this incident in Mr. Dickson's statement either reveals his blatant ignorance of the case’s facts and documents or seeks to provoke publicity and propaganda to influence the proceedings against the law;

8 - The judicial police, under the supervision of the Public Prosecutor's Office, brought some witnesses from the victims of the sexual exploitation attributed to Mr. Taoufik Bouachrine, in accordance with the law and in compliance with the orders of the court, which ordered the police to bring them by the public force after they refused to respond to the court’s calls after the latter deemed their statements important to build up its conviction.

We were therefore surprised that the British lawyer, Mr. Dickson, protested against the implementation of a legal order issued by a court, as if he had forgotten or did not know the great stance of his former Prime Minister Winston Churchill when he was asked by the British authorities during the Second World War to halt the execution of a British court order to move a war airport close to a school, to a place far from urbanization, claiming that the transfer of the airport would weaken the British air defence to fulfill its mission against the Nazi enemy. "It is better for us that Britain lose the war than to stop the execution of a court order," said the eloquent sentence. Today, the British lawyer Dickson is bullying the Moroccan judiciary to enforce his provisions, even if witnesses are brought before the court to hear their testimony in a serious case involving human trafficking;

9 - The arrest of Mrs. Amal Houari has nothing to do with the subject of her testimony in the case of Mr. Taoufik Bouachrine. It is rather related to other acts that are of a criminal character and have formed a subject for investigation by a judicial body other than the Taoufik Bouachrine’s case. The matter is related to probing the involvement of one of the defence members of the accused in hiding her in his house to prevent her being brought before the court that ordered her to be summoned. This required the disclosure of the circumstances of this crime, especially after finding the concerned party hidden in the car boot of another witness parked in the garage house of the lawyer concerned.

It should also be noted that some of the other witnesses who were given orders to be brought in because of their failure to comply with court summonses give their testimony freely before the court. Among the witnesses were those who reported a consensual sexual relationship between them and the accused, without any judicial action being taken against them.. ;

10 – Linking the arrest of The arrest of two sons of Bouachrine’s lawyer Mohamed Ziane after being found guilty of violating the Criminal Code with to the withdrawal of some of the defence team’s members once again reveals a profound crisis among some to comply with the judicial decisions and belief in the rule of law and its impartiality on the level and status of the persons referred to it, and unequivocally confirms that what was propagated by the media after the tactical withdrawal by some members of the defence who said that the reason behind this pullout was the existence of systemic breaches are unsubstantiated allegations made up by Mr. Dickson

In fact, Mohamed Ziane’s sons were placed in custody because of their suspected involvement in hiding the witness who was found hiding in a car boot in the lawyer’s house where they live.

On the other hand, the statements of the defence members who withdrew from the trial, led by lawyer Abdellatif Bouachrine, attributed the withdrawal to some irresponsible positions of some members of the defence and for personal reasons, for each one of them. Lawyer Bouachrine also praised both the court and the public prosecutor’s office before his withdrawal, while the latter expressed regret for the withdrawal;

11 - The statement issued by Rodney Dickson as the international legal adviser to Mr. Taoufik Bouachrine is a desperate attempt to cast doubt on the credibility of the work of the Moroccan security services and judicial institutions and an attempt to undermine the integrity, integrity and  independence of the judiciary and its role in achieving judicial security and protection of rights and freedoms, and falls within the framework of a plan aimed at stretching the duration of the case and preventing its discussion before the judiciary because of the defendant’s lack  of serious means of evidence in the case, in particular the testimonies of the victims and videos filmed by the defendant himself and saved in the memory of his own computer. The attempt to internationalize an ordinary criminal case is considered as an escape from a legal adviser who, unfortunately, only excels in promoting false allegations.