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Morocco and Western Sahara: authorities attribute prison crowding to pretrial detentions

Source - Morocco World News

Mustafa Ramid, the Moroccan minister of justice and liberties confirmed the continued overcrowding of the kingdom’s prisons and attributed the phenomenon to the now-common practice of pretrial detention and the delayed start of cases involving the prematurely arrested detainees.

The minister called on King Mohammed VI’s judicial forces to avoid pretrial detentions requested by the prosecution unless the defendant has been caught red-handed in a crime, if judicial supervision will not be enough to prevent the defendant from escaping justice, or if the release of the suspect would lead to the obstruction of justice in another manner.

Official data from the ministry charged with managing the nation’s prisons shows that nearly 40 percent of the inmates have been arrested before their trial begins, leading to significant population pressures.

Ramid recently announced the contents of a draft amendment to the country’s criminal procedures which will further define the criteria for a pretrial arrest and put the process under judicial supervision, allowing the suspect to lodge an appeal against an unnecessary detention.

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