Spanish courtroom rejects custody for Western Sahara independence chief

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MADRID (Reuters) -Spain’s Excessive Courtroom on Tuesday turned down a request for Western Sahara independence chief Brahim Ghali to be taken into custody, saying the plaintiffs in a battle crimes case towards him had failed to offer proof he had dedicated any crime.

Individuals maintain placards as they protest towards Brahim Ghali, president of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) and Secretary Basic of the Polisario Entrance (Common Entrance for the Liberation of Saguia el-Hamra and Rio de Oro), exterior Spanish Excessive Courtroom in Madrid, Spain, June 1, 2021. REUTERS/Sergio Perez

The Polisario Entrance chief, who has been hospitalized within the Spanish metropolis of Logrono for greater than a month, appeared remotely earlier than the courtroom in Madrid.

He and different Polisario Entrance leaders are accused by human rights teams and Western Sahara people of genocide, homicide, terrorism, torture and disappearances, a courtroom doc mentioned. He denies any wrongdoing.

“The prosecution report has not provided elements of evidence supporting the existence of reasons to believe he is responsible of any crime,” a courtroom doc mentioned.

The event was a brand new twist in a dispute between Madrid and Rabat over Ghali.

The Spanish authorities says he was allowed therapy in Spain as a humanitarian gesture, however the transfer had angered Morocco and led Rabat to chill out border controls which allowed hundreds of migrants to enter Spain’s North African enclave of Ceuta final month.

Shortly after Tuesday’s courtroom determination, Spanish authorities spokeswoman Maria Jesus Montero mentioned she anticipated diplomatic relations with Morocco to return to regular within the coming hours.

However regardless of her optimism, the choice to not detain Ghali was prone to infuriate Morocco.

There was no quick remark from Rabat, but it surely had mentioned on Monday that the listening to towards Ghali was vital to indicate “the real face of the Polisario”.

It mentioned its dispute with Spain was not merely about Ghali however over what it noticed as Spanish disrespect over the Western Sahara problem.

In an extra growth, Spain’s air navigation authority Enaire mentioned air visitors controllers had denied entry to Spanish airspace to a aircraft heading from Algiers to Logrono on directions from the Spanish army.

Authorities spokeswoman Montero mentioned she was not conscious of any aircraft.

Ghali’s Algeria-backed Polisario Entrance is combating for the independence of Western Sahara, which was a Spanish colony till the mid-1970s and has since been thought of by Morocco as a part of its personal territory.


Tuesday’s courtroom proceedings have been a preliminary listening to, step one towards a possible trial.

Prosecution lawyer Mariana Delmas mentioned she had sought preventative measures towards Ghali to cease him leaving the nation. Nonetheless, the courtroom mentioned it didn’t contemplate him a flight threat.

Ghali’s lawyer Manuel Olle mentioned his consumer, who travels on an Algerian diplomatic passport, will keep in Spain till the case is resolved. He was asking the courtroom to drop the case, he mentioned.

Montero mentioned the Spanish authorities anticipated Ghali to return to the place he got here from as soon as his well being improves. Spanish authorities remained alert in case of any additional issues on border, she added.

Reporting by Inti Landauro, Guillermo Martinez and Clara-Laeila Laudette in Madrid and Ahmed El Jechtimi in Rabat; Modifying by Nathan Allen and Angus MacSwan

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