Moroccan justice favours the extradition of Frenchman Sébastien Raoult to the United States
Morocco’s Court of Cassation has pronounced a “favorable opinion” on the extradition to the United States of Frenchman Sebastien Raoult, suspected in a cybercrime case, according to an official document seen Monday by AFP. In a decision issued on July 20, the country’s highest court “did not order” the extradition of the 21-year-old Frenchman, who has been imprisoned in Morocco for two months, but said it was “favorable”, a Moroccan source close to the case told AFP.
An extradition decided by the Prime Minister
The extradition itself can only be decided “by the Prime Minister on the proposal of a commission also bringing together the ministers of Foreign Affairs and Justice,” the same source added.
To justify its decision, the Court of Cassation indicates that the extradition request was submitted by the United States “within the period provided for by law”, accompanied by all the necessary documents (arrest warrant, summary of the facts and information on the identity of the suspect). In addition, she specifies that the “crimes” for which he is claimed by the Americans “have their equivalents in the Moroccan criminal code” and adds that “the extradition request fulfills all the conditions required by law”.
The father of the young Frenchman reacts again
Sébastien Raoult’s French lawyer, Philippe Ohayon, reacted to AFP by reiterating his request to open a judicial investigation in France, accompanied by a French arrest warrant to obtain the extradition of his client to France.
This decision “strengthens us in our determination to obtain the extradition to France of Sébastien Raoult,” he said. “We believe that Sébastien Raoult was not simply abandoned by France, but that he was sacrificed, in view of the Franco-American police operation on May 31 with the arrest in France of five other people in this file,” that is, on the same day as the arrest of his client in Morocco.
Punishable by a sentence of 116 years in prison
The case is causing a lot of emotion in France where Sébastien Raoult’s father recently appealed to President Emmanuel Macron to come to his aid. The US authorities are demanding the extradition of the 21-year-old student from Epinal for his alleged involvement in a cybercrime case targeting companies, in particular American companies. According to the French weekly L’Obs, the Microsoft giant would be one of them.
Sébastien Raoult has been incarcerated since June 2 at Tiflet 2 prison, near Rabat. He faces a 116-year prison sentence in the United States if convicted, according to Mr. Ohayon.
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