A Moroccan criminal court Nov. 13 convicted Moroccan citizen Said Boujandia of crimes related to terrorist acts. The Salé Criminal Court sentenced Boujandia to 10 years in prison. Boujandia admitted his association with with an organization which sought to aid the Afgahn Taliban, but denied committing any crime. Boujandia was held in US custody in Guantánamo Bay from 2001 until May 2008.
The conviction of Boujandia was the first criminal conviction of a Moroccan citizen in overt collaboration with the US-led “war on terror.” Morocco had previously refused to pursue criminal charges against any citizen for terrorist acts that occurred outside of Morocco, and in May 2007 had released without criminal charges a former Guantánamo detainee Ahmed Errachidi, who had been released by the US into Moroccan custody. A change of course was indicated in January 2008, when Moroccan authorities arrested Abdelilah Hriz, a suspect in the 2004 Madrid bombings. (Jurist, Nov. 14)