Politics Morocco: Omar Radi's trial for "drunkenness" postponed to the end of October
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The trial of the Moroccan journalist and human rights activist Omar Radi for "drunkenness" with "insults" opened Thursday before the Casablanca court of first instance before being immediately dismissed on October 29.
Placed in preventive detention at the end of July after accusations of rape and espionage during judicial investigation, the 34-year-old journalist must answer for public intoxication with one of his colleagues Imad Stitou, reporter for the Le Desk news site , himself at large.
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The two were arrested at the beginning of July after an altercation with two cameramen from the web television Chouf TV who filmed them at the exit of a bar in Casablanca.
At the time, the journalist and activist said he was "harassed" by media reputed to be close to security circles, first and foremost Chouf TV.
Human Rights Watch published a report this week on the "defamation" campaign targeting him, with more than 130 offensive articles since mid-June in media close to power, according to its records.
On Thursday, the journalist's lawyers requested, for the October 29 hearing, "the presence of all the protagonists in court" instead of the scheduled remote hearing. The judicial authorities have deployed a remote hearing system for detainees to limit the health risks linked to the pandemic.
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Tuesday, Omar Radi had been questioned for the first time by an examining magistrate, since his arrest for the double case of rape and espionage which mobilizes the attention of the media and human rights organizations attentive to respect for freedom of expression.
The investigation for "espionage" was opened at the end of June after the publication of an Amnesty International report according to which his phone was being spied on by the authorities via sophisticated hacking software. Rabat has always denied, accusing Amnesty of carrying out an "international smear campaign".
As for the journalist, he claims to be the target of a "revenge" on the part of power, provoked according to him by the publication of this highly commented report.
The investigation for rape was opened at the end of July following a complaint from one of her colleagues and friends. If Omar Radi speaks of "voluntary relations", the complainant asserts that she was not consenting. She spoke in several media about her right to "defend her dignity" and obtain justice.
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