Demonstrators protested on Friday in front of the French Embassy in Rabat against the release on bail of the former French boss Jacques Bouthier, targeted by an investigation for sexual harassment for acts that took place in Morocco, noted the AFP.
Twenty in number, mostly women, the protesters held up signs that read: “No to the protection of rapists! », “French justice violates the rights of victims of sexual abuse” or “The provisional release of a rapist threatens the victims”.
Incarcerated since May 2022, Mr. Bouthier, 76, was released on Monday March 27, under judicial supervision, for medical reasons.
“Releasing Jacques Bouthier for medical reasons is unacceptable”estimated the lawyer Aïcha Guella, president of the Moroccan Association of the rights of the victims (AMDV) which accompanies Moroccan plaintiffs in this business. “It is shocking for the victims who are supposed to be protected by justice”, said Me Guella. In a press release calling for demonstrations, the AMDV expressed “his strongest indignation and his rejection of this decision”.
The former CEO of the Assu 2000 group was indicted in particular for human trafficking and rape of a minor.
He is also targeted by an investigation for sexual harassment, opened by the Paris prosecutor’s office in May 2022, the French prosecutor’s office said on Thursday. To date, four people have filed a complaint against him for sexual harassment, according to the same source. The case has ramifications in Morocco, where the brokerage giant (renamed Vilavi) is based.
The French police thus heard on Tuesday in Paris a 29-year-old ex-commercial attaché who worked at the Tangier branch (north of the country) and who filed a complaint in October 2022, according to two sources familiar with the matter. In addition, six young Moroccan ex-employees of Assu 2000 have instituted civil proceedings in Tangier.
Eight collaborators of the former French boss – six Moroccans and two Frenchmen – were recently sent to a criminal court in this city, in particular for “human trafficking” And ” sexual harassment “following an investigation opened after complaints were filed in the spring of 2022. The alleged facts occurred between 2018 and April 2022.
Jacques Bouthier not being prosecuted at this stage in Morocco, the AMDV “will file three complaints in France on behalf of three victims”said its president to AFP.
This court case comes in a climate of diplomatic crisis between Morocco and France.