5 August 2013

Morocco: Spanish Police Arrest Paedophile Pardoned By King

Spanish authorities have arrested a paedophile recently pardoned by the king of Morocco. The king says he was not aware of the gravity of the man's crimes and has ordered a probe into the case.

Police in the southeast Spanish city of Murcia detained Daniel Galvan Vina, a convicted paedophile, in response to an international arrest warrant issued by Morocco. Vina was scheduled to appear before Spain's top court, the Audencia Nacional on Tuesday, according to the Spanish Interior Ministry.

Until recently, the Spanish national had been serving a 30-year sentence in Morocco on charges of raping and filming at least 11 children between the ages of four and 15.

Moroccan King Mohamed VI pardoned Vina last week along wtih 48 other Spanish prisoners. The decision followed a mid-July visit to Morocco by Spanish King Juan Carlos, but it was not immediately clear whether the pardons were a gesture of goodwill or the result of an agreement between the two royals.

News of the convicted child rapist's release sparked protests on Friday, prompting King Mohamed to rescind the pardon.

A preliminary investigation into the incident "concluded that the said administration inadvertently provided erroneous information about the criminal record of the prisoner in question when requested by the royal court," Morocco's royal palace said in a statement on Monday.

The royal palace subsequently fired prisons chief Hafid Benhachem for the error.

(AP, AFP, Reuters)

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