Information received from the Government on cases included in previous reports
395. On 5 March 1993 the Government transmitted information with respect to the case of Driss Touati, reported to have died in April 1991 a few hours after being taken to the Rachidiya police station. According to the reply, Mr. Touati was arrested on 18 April 1991, when evidence was found of his involvement in statutory offences of grand larceny, so that he could be questioned by criminal investigation officers. He committed suicide on 19 April 1991.
396. During the investigation into the circumstances of his death, the Public Prosecutor at Rashidiya viewed the body, which was also examined by the chief medical officer at Moulay Ali al-Sharif hospital in the same town. In addition to the investigations, the Public Prosecutor ordered an autopsy of the body, which confirmed that death resulted from suicide without any indication of violence. The Public Prosecutor decided to have a second autopsy performed by a committee consisting of the district medical officer at Rashidiya and two physicians. The results were consistent with the first autopsy report. In the light of the findings, and in view of the lack of any criminal evidence indicating that death resulted from murder, a complaint was filed against persons unknown and the matter was referred for investigation.
397. On the same date, the Government replied also to the case of the Spanish national Samir Alsadi Jassin, alleged to have been severely beaten by State security police at Tangiers on 31 December 1989. According to the reply, officials at the Ministry of Justice contacted the Public Prosecutor at Tangier Appeal Court and the Department of Prisons and a search was made for the file of the person concerned, for judgements handed down against him and for information as to whether he was in a Moroccan prison. In spite of these endeavours, no reference to any person bearing this name was found.
398. The Government also informed the Special Rapporteur that the Department of Public Prosecutions was legally empowered to monitor cases in which persons were held in police custody and to make inspection visits to police stations in order to interview persons held in custody and ascertain the reasons for their detention, as well as the duration and conditions of their detention. The public prosecutors submitted monthly reports to the Ministry of Justice on their observations during those visits. The role of the Ministry of Justice was to prevent and punish any arbitrary or abusive act likely to prejudice the freedoms or property of individuals or groups. By virtue of the coordination and cooperation among the various authorities responsible for investigation, prosecution and judgement, the desired results had been achieved within the framework of national legislation and the principles set forth in human rights instruments. This was clearly evident from the cases that had been referred to the courts in connection with arbitrary acts on the part of police officers or local authorities.