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Morocco : Man who plowed into a flock of sheep sentenced to one month, defendant to appeal

After a first postponed hearing, the judge of the Benslimane court of first instance sentenced, on Monday, Michel S., who appeared in a video deliberately crushing a flock of sheep to a one-month sentence.

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A French man deliberately plowed into a flock of sheep. / DR

A pizza maker accused of deliberately plowing into a flock of sheep with his car and making death threats against a young shepherd at Plage David, a beach near the city of Mohammedia, was sentenced, Monday, to one month in prison.

Michel S., a French national residing in Morocco, was also ordered to pay Hassan Chtioui, the herd’s owner, 20,000 Dhs as compensation.

«We had to present the pleadings of the civil party, but the judge considered that the file is ready for discussions, which was done by teleconference», Chtioui’s lawyer Youssef Rharib told Yabiladi on Monday evening. He explained that the judge decided to adjourn the hearing for deliberation before resuming it and sentencing the defendant.

For the moment, the reasons and the articles by which the pizza maker was convicted are not yet known. «The written judgment will be published tomorrow or the day after», said the lawyer who will appeal tomorrow.

A disappointing judgment for the shepherd

According to him, the pleas of 11 lawyers representing associations, including the Moroccan Association for Human Rights (AMDH), were refused by the judge, who based his ruling on the request of plaintiff Hassan Chtioui. «This judgment is not final and the most decisive hearings will be decided on appeal, because I still have the expertise of a veterinarian and a psychiatrist», Rharib added.

For his part, the owner of the herd killed by Michel S., could not hide his disappointment. «If I massacre someone's flock by killing 11 animals, while threatening a child will one month in prison and 20,000 dirhams be enough?» he asked. Hassan Chtioui believes that the amount of compensation is paltry. 

«However, the fact that he is not going to be released reassures me, although I expected a one-year sentence and compensation for my slaughtered sheep».

Hassan Chtioui

The plaintiff also denounced the pressure he would have been subjected to in order to withdraw his complaint.

«Someone else would have withdrawn it but I felt it was my honor on the line and I wanted to send a message to Moroccans to never give up on their rights», he added. The herd’s owner also expressed the wish to see the sentence increase on appeal.

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