RABAT || The Higher Council of the Judiciary (CSPJ) has deplored the distortion of data relating to trials under way before the courts and the launch of media campaigns aimed at spreading incorrect or truncated data for the public opinion, as well as the exploitation in bad faith of the confidentiality of judicial inquiries by presenting information contrary to the truth of the cases before the courts.
In reaction to an Amnesty International press release entitled "Urgent action for releasing journalist Omar Radi", the CSPJ said this would affect the reputation of the judiciary and weaken confidence in its decisions, calling on "Amnesty International" to refrain from interfering in its decisions and verdicts.
The Council reaffirmed, in a press release, that it will remain determined to fulfill its constitutional duty of protecting the independence of the judiciary and preserving it against any interference in its decisions, urging magistrates to focus on their independence and not to yield to the influences which they could undergo, regardless of the source, to refer in their verdicts only to the law and to the principles of justice and equity and to respect the rights of the parties and ensure all the conditions for a fair trial.
The Council underlined that the statement published by the NGO, through which it launches an international call to put pressure on the Moroccan authorities to release this journalist contains several allegations undermining the independence of the judiciary, inviting the government's interference and influencing its decisions.
In its press release, Amnesty also presented, in an exaggerated way, certain generally normal legal procedures and referred to certain events in a caricatured manner, while linking the prosecution of the person concerned to his profession as a journalist, contrary to the realities contained in the court's files, noted the CSPJ.
Regarding the attempt to influence the judiciary and undermine its independence, the CSPJ said that Amnesty's statement is marred by a flagrant attack on the independence of the judiciary, by encouraging intensive appeals to put pressure on the head of the Moroccan government in order to obtain the release of Omar Radi, ignoring that the judiciary in Morocco is independent from the government under article 107 of the Constitution, that no one is authorized to interfere in the verdicts of magistrates and that the CSPJ is the guarantor, by virtue of article 109 of the Constitution and article 2 of the organic law of the Council, of the preservation of the independence of the judiciary and prohibits any influence on magistrates in their verdicts.
The press release, through which the NGO calls for putting pressure on the head of government, presents a version of the facts contrary to reality, by imagining the course of the trial of the person concerned outside the law and this in order to seek the sympathy of the people in order to gather the greatest number of appeals to use in its media pressure on the judiciary, ignoring the legal measures and procedures governing the action of justice, and the provisions of the international Conventions relating to a fair justice which governs trials in Morocco and which alone remains the legitimate framework for the trials of litigants and on which the courts rely to acquit or indict them, specified the CSPJ.
Such behavior is unworthy of a human rights association which claims to defend the rights and legitimate freedoms of individuals and groups since it incites the executive authorities on the one hand and individuals on the other hand to put pressure on the judiciary to release an individual remanded in custody as part of his trial before an independent court of the government, which is neutral and has no political or ideological affiliations of the parties, governments, parliaments or other institutions or organizations, it said.
The Council recalls that the defense of human rights cannot be done by influencing the justice system and trying to weaken it, but rather by supporting its independence and trusting it.
And contrary to what was spread by the Amnesty press release, the trial under way against Omar Radi has no connection with his journalistic writings, but rather with his accusation of rape and indecent assault with violence on the basis of a complaint lodged by a woman, on the one hand, and undermining the external security of the State through direct contacts with agents of a foreign authority in order to prejudice the diplomatic status of Morocco, on the other hand, the CSPJ noted.
These are crimes of public law stipulated in the Moroccan Penal Code and which are the subject of an independent investigation by an examining judge of the appeal Court of Casablanca in accordance with the law which guarantees the person concerned all the conditions for a fair trial, it deplored, adding that the law also stipulates the confidentiality of the investigation during this period. "Therefore, and with due respect for the presumption of innocence guaranteed to the suspect, the Council underlined that it refrains from clarifying the facts of this case at this stage." Omar Radi has previously been brought to justice