French national, Thomas Gallay, who was indicted on charges of funding a terrorist cell based in the Moroccan Atlantic city of Essaouira appealed his conviction after he was handed a six year prison sentence.
Gallay, 36, said he had to sign confessions in Arabic language that he ignores and appealed the court’s decision in tandem with the launch of a campaign in France by his mother and lawyer to demand his “liberation”.
The French convert was arrested in a raid in 2016 by the Moroccan security services. He was found to maintain close links with the head of the Essaouira terrorist cell who was in possession of dangerous arsenal found in his place including firearms and ammunitions as well as equipment to make explosives.
Gallay signed confessions saying that he hosted indoctrination meetings of the terrorist cell and admitted loyalty to the terrorist organization Daech. Several Jihadist propaganda videos were seized in his place.
His lawyer purports that he was not aware of the Arabic content of these confessions. These claims were refuted by le360.ma portal, which cites an official source saying that a translator was present during interrogations and Gallay was aware of the content of the confessions he signed.
Morocco undertook a reform of its penal code in line with international law and human rights as they are universally recognized. Several measures were taken to criminalize justifications of terrorism and to fight money laundering. The creation of the Central Bureau of Judicial Investigations (BCIJ), known as Morocco’s FBI, came to reinforce the legal and security anti-terrorism efforts.
Since its creation in 2015, the BCIJ dismantled no less than 45 terrorist cells and arrested at least 548 terrorists who were brought before justice (275 in 2015 and 273 in 2016.)