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BREAKING: Ex-Minister Sentenced To Three Years In Prison (See Why)

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BREAKING: Ex-Minister Sentenced To Three Years In Prison (See Why)

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A Moroccan former rights minister who became an outspoken government critic was sentenced to three years in prison on Wednesday on a string of charges, his lawyer said.

Mohamed Ziane, 79, had gone on trial last year after he accused the kingdom’s security services of faking a video purporting to show him in a compromising situation with a married woman in a hotel room.

The video caused a scandal, but Ziane accused the head of the police and Morocco’s domestic security forces, Abdelatif Hammouchi, of faking the footage.

The interior ministry in January last year filed a complaint accusing him of criminally “disseminating false accusations”.

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A Rabat court on Wednesday “sentenced Mr Ziane to three years in prison and a fine of 5,000 dirhams (about $530)”, lawyer Amal Khalfi told AFP.

But she added that “we don’t yet know the details of the verdict. We don’t know which charges were upheld”.

Ziane remains at liberty pending an appeal, she said.

The former minister had told AFP in December that he faced a total of 11 charges, including “contempt of public officials and the judiciary”, defamation, adultery, and sexual harassment.

He said the charges against him were political.  Ziane was a prominent government lawyer in the early 1990s and human rights minister between 1995 and 1996.

But in recent years, he has become a prominent critic of authorities, particularly the security services.

AFP

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