Rabat – Morocco’s First Criminal Chamber of the Court of Appeal in Tangier handed on Tuesday the death penalty to a couple for their involvement in the murder of a 7-year-old child.
Police arrested the father and stepmother of the boy in November of last year.
The court ruled that the two defendants should also pay a fine of MAD 500,000 ($54,000) to the family of the victim, Moroccan news outlet 2M reported today.
The court prosecuted the father and stepmother of the 7-year-old child on charges of premeditated murder, brutality, and corpse abuse, according to Articles 392 and 399 of Morocco’s penal code.
The case dates back to last November, when police found some parts of the child’s body in a landfill before investigations resulted in the identification of the victim.
Search operations led to the discovery of the rest of the victim’s body in the fridge at his family’s house.
The police initially said the victim’s stepmother killed the boy with a knife in the home
Investigations by Morocco’s security services revealed the father’s invovlement in the child’s murder and mutilation, and therefore he received death penalty.
Morocco has not carried out the death penalty since 1993.
Despite the non-execution of the death penalty, Moroccan activists have called on the government to officially abolish the sentence, citing international human rights standards.
Debate about the death penalty re-emerged recently in Morocco amid the country’s increase of pedophilia and child abuse cases.
After the kidnapping, rape, and murder of an 11-year-old child, Adnane Bouchouf, in Tangier earlier in September, several activists in Morocco signed a petition to call for a death sentence for the perpetrator.
Morocco’s authorities arrested the 24-year-old main defendant along with three other suspects who did not report the crime.