Rabat Court of Appeal condemns 11-year-old rapists to 10 to 20 years in prison

The Rabat Court of Appeal has doubled the initial sentences in the case of a 12-year-old rape victim who was repeatedly attacked in Tiflet by three men. Two of the rapists received 10 years in jail each, while the third, who is also the victim’s child’s father, received a 20-year sentence.

The guilty parties, who were aged 25, 32, and 37, received sentences ranging from 18 months to 2 years, a decision that provoked widespread outrage throughout the Kingdom due to its leniency in light of the gravity of the crime.

More than six hours were spent in court on Thursday hearing testimony from the young Sana, a witness who was there at the rape (the parent of one of the accused), and the witness’s witness.

The victim’s attorney, Abdelfattah Zahrach, stated that “the King’s Prosecutor has submitted a request for confidentiality of the hearing of the child, in consideration of her best interests.”

But, he regretted, this ought to have been done just during the victim’s hearing phase, with the rest of the proceedings open to the public.

Instead, we requested that the media be permitted to follow the trial’s progress because of the case’s ugliness and heinousness while maintaining the presumption of innocence and the requirements for a fair trial.

The accused’s attorney, Abdelhak Halhouli, responded, saying: “We must wait to see what the legal system will rule in this case, not just on appeal but also in cassation. We anticipate that the case’s conclusion will be reasonable and in line with reality.

The lawyer of the defendants defended the innocence of his clients, stating: “We appealed the verdict, since the defendants have denied the charges against them, whether before the judicial police, the investigating judge or the court of first instance.”

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