Moroccan king hires lawyer for singer accused of rape

Moroccan king hires lawyer for singer accused of rape
The king's decision to pay legal fees for Saad Lamjarred accused of rape in France will raise eyebrows in Morocco, where protests continue over the 'involuntary manslaughter' of a fishmonger.
2 min read
01 November, 2016
Moroccan pop star, Saad Lamjarred's family requested a royal intervention [Getty]
Morocco's King Mohammad VI will foot the legal bill of a pop singer facing rape charges in France.

The royal has hired a top lawyer – known for securing acquittals – to defend Saad Lamjarred.

The king "decided to cover the corresponding costs", the state's press agency MAP said.

"This is a favourable response to a request from the family of the singer who sought his majesty's intervention, and with respect for the presumption of innocence," Rabat's embassy in Paris told AFP.

On Friday, the Lm3allem singer, 31, was charged with "aggravated rape" and "aggravated voluntary violence" after a 20-year-old woman reported him to police.

She claimed the star assaulted her in his hotel room near the Champs Elysees in Paris.

Lamjarred, who had been due to perform in Paris on Saturday, was arrested and remanded in custody.

According to initial investigations, he was said to be under the influence of alcohol and drugs at the time of the alleged offences.

Lawyer Eric Dupond Moretti acted for the king last year after two French investigative journalists were charged with blackmail for demanding two million euros ($2,209,000) not to publish a book purportedly containing damaging revelations about the monarch.

The royal intervention is likely to raise eyebrows in Morocco where widespread protests over the "involuntary manslaughter" of a fisherman have gripped the northern city of Al-Hoceima.

Mohsen Fikri threw himself into a garbage truck after authorities reportedly threw away his produce.

Moroccans have been chanting slogans including "monopoly and marginalisation", a critique of perceived state self-interest.