The cabinet denies that a Moroccan journalist spied for the Dutch embassy in Rabat. The journalist in question was sentenced in Morocco to six years in prison, partly on the basis of that charge, but outgoing minister Knapen rejected the accusation in a letter to parliament.
Knapen writes that Foreign Affairs has asked the Moroccan ambassador in The Hague for clarification. The ministry has underlined that embassies are free to maintain contact with journalists and that this is part of the normal work of an embassy.
It is about the journalist Omar Radi. MPs have already drawn attention to his situation a few times. He was arrested last summer, including on suspicion of espionage. He was convicted in July of this year.
‘Verdict not made public’
Knapen writes that the cabinet has followed the developments in the trial against Radi “as closely as possible”, but that it was not easy, because the indictment and the verdict were not made public. According to the minister, the Netherlands has made several inquiries with the Moroccan authorities.
Last week, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs “informally received a translation of part of the verdict”. From this it becomes clear that Radi has been convicted of several charges, including espionage for the Dutch embassy.
Radi on appeal
According to Knapen, the Moroccan authorities say in an initial response that they attach great importance to good relations with the Netherlands. But they don’t want to interfere in the legal process.
The case is still under court, because Radi has appealed. “It is now up to the Moroccan court to hear this appeal and the Netherlands will continue to monitor the case closely,” the minister reported to the House. The relationship between the Netherlands and Morocco has been difficult for some time.
Foreign Affairs asks Morocco for clarification on espionage allegation
Source link Foreign Affairs asks Morocco for clarification on espionage allegation