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Ex-Morocco minister sentenced to prison after video about ‘adultery’

A Moroccan former law minister who became an outspoken critic of the government was sentenced on Wednesday to three years in prison on a series of charges, his lawyer said.

Mohamed Ziane, 79, was on trial last year after accusing the kingdom’s security forces of falsifying a video allegedly showing him in a compromising situation with a married woman in a hotel room.

The video caused a scandal, but Ziane accused Morocco’s chief of police and internal security forces, Abdelatif Hammouchi, of faking the footage.

The Interior Ministry filed a complaint in January last year accusing him of criminally “spreading false accusations”.

A court in Rabat on Wednesday “sentenced Mr Ziane to three years in prison and a fine of 5,000 dirhams (about $530),” lawyer Amal Khalfi told AFP.

But she added that “we don’t know the details of the verdict yet. We do not know which charges were upheld.”

Ziane remains at large pending an appeal, she said.

The former minister had told AFP in December that he had a total of 11 charges, including “contempt of officials and the judiciary”, defamation, adultery and sexual harassment.

He said the charges against him were political.

Ziane was a prominent government lawyer in the early 1990s and minister of human rights between 1995 and 1996.

But in recent years, he has become a prominent critic of authorities, especially the security services.

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