The Superior Council of the Judicial Power (CSPJ) deplored, on Monday, the distortion of data relating to ongoing trials before the courts and the launch of media campaigns aimed at conveying incorrect or truncated data to public opinion, as well as the bad faith use 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 under the headline “Urgent action for the release of 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 reaffirms, 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 the magistrates to focus on their independence. and not to yield to the influences which they could undergo, whatever 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 promote them all the conditions for a fair trial.
The Council underlines that the statement published by the NGO, through which it launches an international appeal to put pressure on the Moroccan authorities to obtain the release of this journalist contains several allegations attacking the independence of justice, lending to the government interference and influencing its decisions.
In its press release, Amnesty also exaggeratedly presented 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 court cases, notes the CSPJ.
Regarding the attempt to influence the judiciary and undermining its independence, the CSPJ indicates that Amnesty’s press release is tainted with a flagrant attack on the independence of the judiciary, by encouraging intensive appeals to put pressure on the judiciary. the head of the Moroccan government in order to obtain the release of Mr. Omar Radi, omitting that by this act, it ignores that the justice in Morocco is independent of 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 guarantor, under 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 of ‘prohibit any influence on magistrates in their verdicts.
The press release, through which the NGO encourages pressure on the head of government, presents a version of the facts contrary to reality, by imagining the unfolding of the trial of the interested party outside the law and this, in order to arouse the sympathy of the people in the drawing to gather the greatest number of appeals to use in its media pressure on justice, ignoring the legal measures and procedures governing the action of justice, and the provisions of the international Conventions relating to a fair justice which frame the legal procedure in Morocco and which remain, alone, the legitimate framework in the trials of litigants and on which the courts rely to acquit or indict them, specifies the CSPJ.
Therefore, he adds, 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 to on the other hand and individuals on the other hand to put pressure on the justice system to release an individual remanded in custody as part of his trial before a tribunal independent from the government, neutral and which has no relation to the political or ideological affiliations of the parties, governments, parliaments or other institutions or organizations.
Thus, 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 conveyed by the Amnesty press release, continues the CSPJ, the ongoing trial against Mr. 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 attack on the external security of the State through direct contacts with agents of a foreign authority in order to harm Morocco’s diplomatic status, on the other hand.
These are, he deplores, crimes of public law stipulated in the Moroccan Penal Code and which are the subject of an independent investigation by an investigating judge of the Court of appeal to Casablanca in accordance with the law which guarantees the person concerned all the conditions for a fair trial, 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 accused, the Council underlines that it refrains from clarifying the facts of this case at this stage.”
Mr. Omar Radi, reports the CSPJ, has previously been brought to justice twice, the first time because of a tweet on his personal account in which he threatened a magistrate and incited his assault because of a judgment he rendered, and the second because of an altercation in which he had been involved, while intoxicated, with one of his friends on the one hand, and another person, on the other, in the during which an exchange of violence took place.
In all of these cases, neither the character of the individual concerned as a journalist, nor his writings and the journalistic investigations he published have any bearing on his lawsuits, neither previous nor current ones. “This is why the Council is surprised by the persistence of the Amnesty communiqué to focus on the journalistic work of the accused without any justification.”
The Council observes, moreover, that the “Amnesty” press release largely dwelled on the mention of certain ordinary details in legal proceedings, considering them to be human rights overruns, in particular when it speaks of the summons of Mr. Omar Radi on several occasions by the judicial police services for investigation, whereas these are normal procedures in various judicial systems, where suspects can be summoned several times for investigation into the matter. various facts.
As for Mr. Omar Radi, all the investigations to which he was subjected were recorded in the minutes contained in the file, and which will be the subject of a judicial review in the next steps, concludes the press release of the CSPJ.