Financial crimes: trial of Hjira, Bioui, Haddouche... postponed to March

In November 2017, the court of first instance acquitted 17 people involved in cases of fraud and embezzlement in Oujda, including elected officials like theIstiqlalien Omar Hjira, president of the commune of Oujda, Abdenbi Bioui (PAM), president of the Oriental region, and the former president of the commune, Lakhdar Haddouche (Haraki then PAM).

But not only since the prosecution had decided to also prosecute municipal officials, engineers and contractors. Then prosecuted on appeal on the merits of a request from the king’s prosecutor based on a report by the Court of Auditors on the management of the city of Oujda which had pinned them down, they were sentenced in 2019 by the Financial Crimes Chamber of the Court of appeal from Fez, for fraud and embezzlement. On appeal, the three main defendants, Omar Hjira, Lakhdar Haddouche and Abdenbi Bioui were sentenced by the second chamber responsible for financial crimes to two years in prison respectively. for the first two and one year in prison for the third.

The convicts, including Bioui defended at the time by Me Abdellatif Ouahbi, had decided to appeal to the Court of Cassation. Subsequently, the Court of Cassation canceled on July 6, 2022 the judgment of the court of Fez by referring the files to the Court of Appeal of the capital to judge them on February 22, 2023. On Wednesday, therefore, they appeared, before the Chamber in charge of financial crimes at the Court of Appeal of Rabat. In the absence of Lakhdar Haddouch, who did not appear at the hearing and after verifying the identity of the defendants, the court decided to set the next hearing for March 22 with the presence of all the accused. .

It is that in addition to the three aforementioned defendants, engineers and contractors, who would have benefited from the markets of the commune of Oujda, are also prosecuted for embezzlement of public funds and fraud. The Financial Crimes Chamber of the Fez Court of Appeal had sentenced 6 civil servants, engineers and contractors to one year in prison each after being prosecuted for embezzlement and squandering of public funds, a large part of which concerned road surfacing, and this on the basis of the report of the Court of Auditors relating to the management of the commune of Oujda during the period 2006/2009.

In its report, the Court of Auditors deplored the squandering of public funds concerning in particular the urban development of the city of Oujda to which an envelope of 240 million dirhams had been allocated, of which 200 million had been financed by the Equipment Fund communal (FEC). But in total, nearly 4 billion cents were swallowed up. The defendants were prosecuted on bail after paying various bails, one of which reached 800,000 dirhams for the former president of the commune, Lakhdar Haddouch.

The details of this case go back almost eight years, when the public prosecutor decided to prosecute 17 people (elected officials, municipal employees, engineers and contractors), on the basis of the report of the Supreme Court of Auditors. Billions of cents, part of which is linked to the paving of roads, were involved. In fact, the report mentions shortcomings and imbalances in the execution of the works, including those concerning the asphalt used for the roads.

In urban areas, the height or thickness of the asphalt was less than five centimeters as stipulated in the specifications and 77% of the roads completed did not meet the conditions specified in the contracts, according to the report of the Public Laboratory of experiments and studies (LPEE).

The post Financial crimes: trial of Hjira, Bioui, Haddouche… postponed to March appeared first on MoroccoLatestNews Français – Actualités du Maroc.

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