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Morocco: Eight charged in intercourse abuse case towards French tycoon

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Moroccan authorities have charged eight suspected collaborators of French insurance coverage tycoon Jacques Bouthier in a sexual abuse and trafficking case, attorneys for the complainants mentioned Thursday.

Bouthier, 76 and considered one of France’s richest males, is being held in Paris on suspicion of kid rape and trafficking.

The case in Morocco opened in June 2022 when 4 former staff of an area subsidiary of Bouthier’s insurance coverage group Assu2000, later renamed Vilavi, pressed prices towards him.

The eight suspects — six Moroccans together with two girls, and two Frenchmen — have been charged at a felony courtroom within the northern metropolis of Tangiers with human trafficking, sexual harassment, “incitement to debauchery” and aiding against the law, mentioned lawyer Nezha Khoubiza.

4 of them are at the moment in detention, added one other lawyer for the complainants, Karima Salama, throughout a information convention in Rabat.

“A ninth suspect within the case, a Frenchman, has died in a current automotive accident,” Salama mentioned.

The accusations embody repeated sexual harassment and intimidation between 2018 and April 2022 within the Tangiers workplaces of Assu 2000, led on the time by Bouthier.

An investigative decide accomplished his probe in January, a lawyer for the accusers mentioned on the time.

In a information convention final yr, the ladies mentioned that they had been sacked from the agency after refusing to “give in to harassment and blackmail” over their employment by Bouthier and different French and Moroccan executives.

Such public declarations are uncommon in Morocco, the place sexual abuse victims usually face social stigma.

One of many complainants mentioned on Thursday: “This case has shaken our lives. We’re in a susceptible and traumatic scenario, however the opening of the trial is an effective factor.”