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Driver who deliberately killed victim in Casablanca parking lot receives death penalty

On Tuesday, April 16, the driver identified as having deliberately run over 23-year-old doctoral student Badr Bouljoihel received the death penalty. In 2019, the accused was convicted for similar offenses, where the manslaughter was deemed involuntary.

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The criminal chamber of first instance of the Casablanca Court of Appeal sentenced, on Tuesday, April 16, Achraf R., known to media as Ould Lefchouch (‘spoiled child’), to the death penalty for the premeditated murder of Badr Bouljoihel, local media reported.

The court found Achraf R. guilty of premeditated murder with accompanying crimes, attempted premeditated murder, participation in a robbery, and use of violence.

Amin R., who claimed to be the driver during the incident, was sentenced to life in prison. Accomplices, Abderrafik Z. and Ahmed S. received prison sentences of 25 and 20 years, respectively. Hamid A., who helped the main defendant flee, was sentenced to five years imprisonment.

The public prosecutor argued that all events constituted a crime, with Achraf R. being the main perpetrator. The evidence against him was «clear», the prosecutor said, citing the video repeatedly shown during the hearings.

Dated from late July 2023, the video shows Achraf R. running over the victim after waiting for him in the parking lot of a fast-food restaurant on the Aïn Diab coast in Casablanca. The young man was brutally attacked before being left for dead.

Repeat offender

Last summer, social media users launched the hashtag #JusticeForBadr (العدالة_لبدر#) in solidarity with the deceased's family. A 23-year-old doctoral student at the Faculty of Science and Technology (FST) in Mohammedia, Badr Bouljoihel, was fatally beaten during a brawl that began inside the restaurant and escalated to the parking lot, where he was struck by the defendant's car.

According to witness accounts, Badr was celebrating obtaining his visa to Canada with friends when an argument erupted with another group. Security guards intervened initially, but the confrontation continued outside, leading to the tragic outcome.

The defendant fled to Laâyoune after the incident but was eventually apprehended. He attempted to hide his involvement by removing his vehicle's license plate at the scene, but surveillance cameras captured his identity. The King's Attorney General at the Casablanca Court of Appeal revealed that Achraf R. had a previous conviction for similar offenses.

In March 2019, a Casablanca court found him guilty of a traffic accident caused by reckless driving that resulted in manslaughter. The public prosecutor appealed the verdict seeking a harsher sentence. Later that year, the Casablanca Correctional Appeal Chamber upheld the conviction and increased the penalty, including a one-year prison sentence and a steeper fine.

Article modified on : 17/04/2024 10h55

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