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Morocco king revokes paedophile's pardon

Decision comes after days of protests, and after the Spanish suspect reportedly left Morocco.

Last Modified: 04 Aug 2013 20:20
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Baton-wielding police broke up Friday's protest outside the Moroccan parliament [Reuters]

King Mohamed VI of Morocco has revoked a pardon granted to a Spanish serial paedophile whose release sparked angry protests in the kingdom, a palace statement said.

The king "has decided to withdraw the pardon previously accorded to Daniel Galvan Fina," said the text of the statement, published by the official MAP news agency on Sunday.

Although several media reports have said that Fina has left the country, the agency said the justice minister would discuss with Madrid "the next step after the pardon's revocation."

On Saturday, the king said he did not know the gravity of the man's crimes, and ordered an investigation into his release.

Hundreds outraged

The paedophile was convicted 18 months ago in Kenitra, near the capital Rabat, of raping children aged 4 to 15.

Fina, who was serving a 30-year sentence, was among 48 jailed Spaniards who were pardoned by the king on Tuesday at the request of Spain's King Juan Carlos, who visited Morocco last month.

Late on Friday, baton-wielding police broke up a protest in Rabat by hundreds outraged by the pardon. In running clashes, the police clubbed demonstrators to prevent them from gathering in front of the Moroccan parliament, injuring several people including journalists. 

The justice ministry said in a statement on Friday the pardons had been issued based on Morocco's national interests and its friendly relations with Spain.

The king often pardons prisoners on special occasions, such as Throne Day last Tuesday, but the decision to release the Spaniards at the request of the monarch of a former colonial power riled many Moroccans.

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