The Superior Council of the Judiciary (CSPJ) expressed on Saturday its strong condemnation of the unfounded allegations contained in the resolution of the European Parliament (EP) of Thursday January 19, 2023.
In a press release issued after a meeting of the Council, the CSPJ indicates that it has taken note of this resolution which contains “serious accusations and allegations undermining the independence of the judiciary”.
These unfounded allegations distort the facts and cast doubt on the legality and legitimacy of the legal proceedings taken regarding cases, some of which have been tried and others in progress, specifies the press release read by Mustapha Libzar, secretary general of the CSPJ .
“The Council regrets this distortion of the facts in the context of trials which took place in accordance with the law, in full respect of the constitutional guarantees and the conditions of a fair trial recognized at the international level”, it is indicated. The Council strongly denounces the approach of the European Parliament, which has arrogated to itself the right to judge Moroccan justice in a flagrant and partial manner, prejudicing the judicial institutions of the Kingdom and giving no consideration to their independence, continues the same source.
The Council thus expresses its categorical rejection of any interference in the justice system or attempt to influence its decisions, especially since some of the cases mentioned are still before the courts.
“This contradicts all international norms and rules, in particular the principles and declarations of the United Nations relating to the independence of justice”, it is underlined.
Likewise, the CSPJ strongly denounces the content of this resolution, which encourages exerting pressure on the judiciary for the immediate release of the people it mentioned, notes the press release, noting that “this seriously undermines the independence of the judiciary and constitutes an attempt to influence it, while some cases are still before the courts.”
Furthermore, the Council rejects the allegations cited in the resolution, inspired by certain sources known for their dogmatic positions without having available evidence and verified data, and which are moreover refuted by the facts.
The CSPJ also points out that the persons named in the resolution benefited from all the guarantees of a fair and equitable trial provided for by law, including the presumption of innocence, the right to defense and access to all documents, a public face-to-face trial, the summoning of witnesses and their questioning, recourse to judicial expertise, remedies, among other guarantees established by Moroccan law as stipulated in ratified international human rights conventions by the Kingdom.
The Council recalls that the facts which are the subject of the trial of the individuals cited in the European Parliament resolution are in no way linked to journalistic activity or the exercise of freedom of opinion and expression, which are guaranteed by Moroccan law and constitution. In fact, the charges brought against them relate to ordinary crimes, such as human trafficking, rape, exploitation of people’s vulnerability, acts that are severely punished by laws everywhere in the world.
The Council rejects the logic of “double standards” that characterizes this resolution which, instead of condemning the sexual assaults suffered by the victims, defended a set of untruths and unfounded allegations.
The Council recalls, in this regard, the substantial progress made in recent years by the Moroccan judiciary, such as the independence of the prosecution vis-à-vis the executive power from 2017, or the fact of establishing the judiciary as an independent power, enshrined in the 2011 constitution and formalized by the creation of the CSPJ in 2017; thus aligning the Moroccan judicial system with the most advanced and rigorous standards of independence, standards of independence that until now some European countries have still had great difficulty in achieving.
The Council emphasizes the magistrates’ attachment to their independence as well as their commitment to preserving rights and freedoms and guaranteeing fair trial conditions, as a constitutional, legal and moral duty.
It also underlines its determination to act constantly for the preservation of the independence of justice and its immunity against all forms of interference and foreign pressure, whatever they may be, in accordance with the Constitution and the organic law of the Advice.