The Morocco’s King Mohammed VI has granted pardon to 415 people convicted for various offenses, including 14 found guilty in terrorism, the Ministry of Justice said Saturday.
Among the pardoned convicts are several arrested over links to the terror attacks targeting the Moroccan city of Casablanca in May 2003. The attacks left 45 people, including 12 suicide bombers, dead. Earlier reports suggested that the all convicts were guilty in terrorism, but this appeared to be inaccurate info.
After the terrorist attack in Casablanca in 2003, Mohammed VI began actively strengthen personal power in religious institutions trying to achieve firm control over the religious sector. During his reign, new Islamic governance bodies were established, and many Islamic research centers were opened. Currently Mohamed 6, being a direct descendant of the Prophet Mohamed, is viewed as the highest religious authority in the country and the commander of the faithful (amir al-muminin). He positions himself as a defender of traditional moderate ‘maliki’ Islam. The Mohammed VI Institute for the Training of Imams, Morchidine and Morchidate, which was established in 2015, annually trains hundreds of imams from Nigeria, Chad, Guinea, Côte d’Ivoire, Tunisia and France. Morocco, along with Egypt and Saudi Arabia, is one of the world leaders in the field of Islamic education. This allows the country to influence foreign states. However, the king was not able to substitute fully for his control of the religious sector. (MORE HERE)
The announcement came a day before Morocco’s 64th anniversary of the Revolution of the King and the People that takes place on August 20.
The pardon followed a terrorist attack in Spain on August 17 when a van hit pedestrians on La Rambla in Barcelona, killing 14 and injuring many others. According to the police investigation, all persons linked to the attack were Moroccans.
According to media reports, Abdelbaki Es Satty, the imam at a local mosque in Ripoll, could be one of the key suspects in the detected terrorist cell. He is also Moroccan.
On July 30, during the Throne day celebration, King Mohammed VI granted pardon to 1,272 persons who were convicted by Moroccan courts, many of them had been arrested for the participation in protests in northern Morocco.