2 November 2017

Morocco: Gdeim Izik - 58 Percent of Trial's Time Was Dedicated to Suspects, Defence, Report

Rabat — The Gdeim Izik trial achieved equality in terms of time for debates and parties, given that 58% of the legal time was dedicated to the suspects and their defence, according to a report by the National Council for Human Rights (CNDH) issued Thursday in Rabat.

The report said that 23% of the legal time was devoted to the accused's defence, 35.25% to the accused, 10.2% to the plaintiffs' defence and 10% to the public prosecutor, while 17.2% was meant for witnesses, 3.10% to presenting evidence and 1.25% to experts.

During the trial, which was divided into 31 hearings (the first on Dec. 26, 2016 and the latest on July 19, 2017), a special attention was given to granting enough time and providing appropriate conditions for the different parties to make their voice heard, defend themselves and their legal positions, submit documents and file motions and requests, the same source said.

The report noted that 48 Moroccan and foreign reporters followed the trial which was attended by 14 lawyers (including four foreigners) representing the accused in the first phase, then four lawyers in the second one.

The plaintiffs' defence comprised 15 lawyers (including four foreigners), while the number of observers was 140, out of whom 92 are foreigners (including 13 lawyers).

The Salé appeal court handed verdicts (on July 19) ranging from 2 years to prison for life against 23 suspects of this group.

The court decided to drop charges against some suspects for forming a criminal gang and sue them for the rest of crimes and adjust the lawsuit. It also decided to sue other suspects for violence against law enforcement officers while on duty.

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