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The (Moroccan) National Human Rights Council (CNDH) published a preliminary observation report on the trial of individuals accused in relation to the Gdim Izik event which (trial) started on February 1, 2013 before the military court.

Based on general data and the Council’s observations, and apart from the pre-trial stage, the report noted, the trail took place under normal conditions and was marked by due process, to the extent that even some defendants expressed their gratitude to the court presiding judge.

The report highlighted the public nature of the trial attended by relatives, observers, human rights activists, journalists, MPs, and diplomats. It underlined the judge’s persistence to ensure and respect the conditions of a fair trial and the principle of presumption of innocence, while considering police investigation reports as mere information.

All hearings were translated into Spanish, French, English and Hassani dialect. Key court decisions related to the trial organization or proceedings were explained to the defendants and translated for the foreign observers. The presiding judge responded positively to a number of requests by the defense, including summoning some witnesses, presentation of seized items and projection of relevant videos and photos.

The report highlighted the proper proceedings of the trial. The defendants were informed of the charges brought against them in a language they understood, taking into consideration the conditions of a fair trial. They were treated with respect and courtesy, as the defense and the accused themselves confirmed. The report also noted the positive treatment of defendants suffering from fatigue or discomfort who were allowed to sit down during the hearings, received care in a hospital or sent to rest in prison cells where their health conditions were continuously monitored.

The court, the report added, summoned five witnesses listed by the defense, including those who may have witnessed the arrest of the suspects or may have had information about their whereabouts in the time of the incident. In addition, the court heard the testimony of one witness among nine witnesses listed by the General Prosecutor. It briefly heard the grievances of the families of the victims who attending the trial, which is, according to the report, consistent and lawful given the discretion of the president of the court, under Article 96 of the Military Justice Code, and especially because it does not contradict the provisions of Article 9 of the same Code, which prohibits them from standing as civil party in the context of the ongoing trial.

CNDH’s team reported the heavy security presence around the court and the use of metal barriers preventing car but allowing pedestrian traffic. It noted that the role of the public forces was limited to the preservation of order and security and controlling access to the court (identity checks or searches).
The Council’s preliminary report observations concern the environment of the court, the public hearings, organization, and trial’s proceedings.

CNDH’s observation team attended all hearings since the trial started on February 1, 2013 until the date on which the Council published its report (February 13, 2013). The team was composed of lawyers, CNDH members and CNDH officials.