Bouachrine’s Lawyer Denies Sexual Assault Allegations

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Bouachrine’s Lawyer Denies Sexual Assault AllegationsMoroccan Journalist Taoufik Bouachrine

Rabat Mohammed Ziane, the lawyer representing Moroccan journalist Taoufik Bouachrine, has denied sexual assault allegations directed at his client.

Ziane told Agence France-Presse (AFP) that “[Bouachrine’s] arrest was spectacular, and this proves it is not a sex case, if it was the case he would have been summoned and there would have been a confrontation with his accusers.”

Several Moroccan publications, including the Moroccan newspaper Al Massae, described the general “shock” at the Bouachrine arrest and allegations

Bouachrine, who is the director of Moroccan newspaper Akhbar Al Yaoum and Alyaoum24 news outlet, was arrested on Friday, February 24.

On Saturday, the General Office of the Public Prosecutor released a communiqué indicating that Bouachrine was arrested on charges of sexual assault.

Several women interns were summoned by the Public Prosecutor as part of the ongoing investigation. According to a statement by the prosecutor, interns and current employees have filed sexual assault complaints against Bouachrine.

Bouachrine’s arrest occurred three weeks after several women filed complaints against him, an unidentified source told Moroccan newspaper Assabah.

“Detectives doubted the complaints at first. However, testimonies and a good deal of proof pushed the police to take the case seriously and investigate it.”

An unidentified woman told Assabah that the public prosecutor has proofs that would “surprise the public opinion.”

As investigations are underway, the journalist will stand before the public prosecutor today.

This is not Bouachrine’s first public prosecution

On February 12, Casablanca’s first  Instance court sentenced Bouachrine to pay a fine estimated at EUR 40,000 to Moroccan Ministers Mohamed Boussaid and Aziz Akhannouch for “defamation.”

Again, in 2009, the prominent journalist was also sentenced to four year-long suspended jail sentences over a publication deemed offensive to Morocco’s royal family.

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