Sunday, September 24

France, Morocco Resume Judicial Cooperation After Row

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Reuters

judicial

France and Morocco will resume their judicial and legal cooperation, the French justice ministry said on Saturday, ending a row sparked by a French probe into alleged torture.

Morocco had suspended cooperation agreements in protest at an attempt by French authorities to question the head of Morocco’s DGST domestic intelligence service over torture allegations while he was visiting Paris a year ago.

The DGST has often been accused by Moroccan and international human rights organizations, including Amnesty International, of torturing activists and terrorism suspects, sometimes on behalf of the United States’ CIA.

“The heads of state King Mohammed VI and President Francois Hollande wanted to end this situation and preserve the exceptional partnership between the two countries,” Justice Minister Christiane Taubira said in a statement.

The resumption is important for France, which wants intelligence from Morocco and other North African countries on terrorism suspects, an interest that has become more urgent after this month’s killings at the Charlie Hebdo magazine and a Jewish store in Paris.

Morocco hopes for the continued support of France in the Western Sahara territorial dispute.

Taubira added that after meeting her Moroccan counterpart Mustapha Ramid in Paris on Thursday and Friday, the two countries had agreed to amend the Franco-Morrocan judicial cooperation convention to boost the exchange of information between the two.

They will also bring back liaison magistrates.

(Reporting by Geert De Clercq; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky and Stephen Powell)

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