Another hearing was held yesterday in Casablanca in jailed newspaper editor Rachid Nini’s appeal and, after defence counsel submissions, it ended with another adjournment, this time until 27 September. Held since 28 April, Nini has spent a total of 140 days in prison. He is appealing against the one-year jail sentence he received in June.
Nini’s lawyer submitted another request for Nini to be released provisionally but they expect it to be rejected, like all the others they have made, as the judicial authorities seem determined to persecute the daily Al-Massae’s editor. The court said it would render its decision on 20 September.
The request to visit Nini in detention that Reporters Without Borders submitted to the prosecutor-general on 23 June has meanwhile been denied. Procedural grounds were given for the refusal. A new request has just been submitted.
Nini was convicted on 9 June on charges of disinformation and attacking state institutions, public figures and the “security and integrity of the nation and citizens” under articles 263, 264 and 266 of the criminal code at the end of a trial in Casablanca marked by judicial intransigence, repeated adjournments and a refusal to free him on bail.
Al-Massae journalists told Reporters Without Borders that the prosecution was prompted by articles in which Nini criticized corruption, including corruption among associates of the king, and raised questions about one of the king’s closest allies, Fouad Ali El-Himma, head of the Authenticity and Modernity Party. They said he also published information about intelligence chief Abdellatif Hammouchi and called for repeal of the anti-terrorism law.