25 detainees were sentenced back on February the 17th, 2013 at a Military court. In 2010, these criminals have assassinated 11 members of the Moroccan Force of order.
In July the 1st, 2015 Morocco passed a new judicial reform, in which courts can no longer sentence civilians in times of peace. In July 2016, the Court of Cassation quashed the conviction of the 25 detainees and ordered a new trial to be held at the Civil Court instead.
This reform; that was urged by the Human Rights National Council, comes within the same framework as a progressive wave going on since the 90s. The goal is to harmonize the national legislation with the measures of the new 2011 Constitution, and the Kingdom’s new commitments to essentially the international norms.
The case has been sent since then to the civil courts, and the trial for the 25 accused started last December the 26th, 2016 at the Criminal Chamber near Salé’s Court of Appeals’ annex.
The referral to the civil court has been called for by also the victims’ families in order for them to execute their rights as civilians. Therefore, they have proceeded and created their own association as well as a defense team.
Reopening this trial under civil jurisdiction is a real opportunity to shine light on the truth regarding torture and mistreatment allegations presented by the accused in attempt to plant seeds of doubt in the court’s verdict, despite the fact that all conditions for an equitable trial were very much set and guaranteed (Advertisement of the hearings, presence of the international observers and national and international NGOs and National Human Rights Council
It’s worth mentioning that all the hearings for the trial were indeed going in compliance with what guarantees the rights and equity for both parties.