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Fury as Kuwaiti accused of sexually assaulting minor girl jumps bail, flees Morocco

Rights body pledges to pursue case, seeks extradition

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 15: A Kuwaiti tourist is said to have escaped Morocco, after he was accused of raping a minor girl, reports Al-Qabas daily quoting Moroccan Media 24 website.

The President of the Court of Appeal in Marrakech, according to a statement issued by the Moroccan Association for Human Rights (AMDH), confirmed that the Kuwaiti youth left Morocco on Jan 28, twenty-four hours after his provisional release on bail, despite the written pledge by the Kuwaiti embassy to the Moroccan judiciary.

The AMDH office, according to the website, has expressed its ‘surprise’ and denounced the embassy’s failure to honor its commitment, stressing its readiness to resort to all international legal tools to follow the accused and bring him to trial.

The accused, identified only as “M.S.A.,” is believed to be 24 years old man and benefited from the temporary release on bail before he was placed under judicial supervision. He carried a travel ban after he was accused of sexually assaulting a minor (14 years old girl). He was supposed to be presented last Tuesday at the criminal chamber at the Court of Appeal in Marrakech.

Meanwhile, member of the AMDH, Omar Arbib according to Morocco World News (MWN) has condemned the suspect’s provisional release on bail and the decision not to confiscate his passport. The Kuwaiti embassy helped him to leave the country, Arbib said. He told MWN according to the Kuwaiti embassy in Morocco the (victim’s) parents forgave the man in exchange for money. He said that the case moved from being a rape dossier to a case of human trafficking.

The activist promised that AMDH will pursue the case with help of all relevant institutions to make sure the Kuwaiti man is arrested and sentenced. “We don’t want him to be sentenced in Kuwait. We want the authorities to expel him because he should be sentenced in Morocco, where he committed the crime,” the activist said.

The man reportedly raped the 14-year old girl in July 2019 in a rented apartment in Marrakech. The girl disappeared for a few days before reappearing after the ordeal. The victim accused the man of violently raping her in return for MAD 3,600. She said that the suspect hid her in his car’s trunk to get her inside the building and to avoid confrontations with security guards.

Article 486 of the penal code in Morocco stipulates that suspects involved in the rape of minors, people with special needs, or pregnant women should receive a prison sentence ranging between 10 and 20 years

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