‘Victim faints’ at Morocco trial of British paedophile suspect


Moroccan policemen stand guard near Tetouan on October 4, 2012

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Moroccan policemen stand guard near Tetouan on October 4, 2012 (AFP Photo/Fadel Senna)

Rabat (AFP) – An alleged victim of a suspected British paedophile on trial in Morocco fainted in court Tuesday as the case was adjourned for a fifth time, a rights activist who attended the hearing told AFP.
The 6-year-old girl passed out at the courthouse in the northern town of Tetouan when she saw Robert Bill, who is accused of kidnapping and attempting to rape her, said Mohammed Benaissa, who heads the Northern Observatory for Human Rights.
“We are calling for a swift ruling in this trial, because of the suffering it is causing the victims,” he told AFP, expressing “surprise” that it had been repeatedly delayed.
The judge fixed the next hearing for April 11.
The reason for the latest delay was not clear. The trial had previously been adjourned when the defendant’s Moroccan lawyers withdrew from the case.
Bill, originally from North Wales, was arrested at a petrol station in Tetouan last June when locals overheard the screams of the six-year-old girl he allegedly abducted, surrounded his Spanish-registered car and alerted the police.
“She was the only victim present at the trial,” Benaissa said, adding that the other alleged victims were represented in court by their parents.
The suspect is accused of kidnapping and raping another two Moroccan girls prior to his arrest, one in Tetouan and one in the nearby town of Chefchaouen, according to the human rights group.
The former teacher has already served jail time in Britain following his conviction by a Welsh court in 2009 of attempting to abduct a five-year-old girl.
After leaving prison he travelled to southern Spain, arriving in Morocco in November 2012 from the town of Ceuta, a Spanish enclave on Morocco’s north coast.
The Spanish police had issued a warrant for his arrest on separate paedophilia and kidnapping charges.

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