Practice Relating to Rule 161. International Cooperation in Criminal Proceedings
Section A. Cooperation between States
In 2009, in its fourth periodic report to the Committee against Torture, Morocco stated:
Under Moroccan law no orders from a higher authority, exceptional circumstances, state of war or the threat of war, threat to national security, internal political instability or any emergency situation could be used as justification for the use of torture or any other form of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.
Morocco also stated:
79. Morocco, under its international obligations, is committed to providing adequate assistance to other states in dealing with the offences prescribed by this Convention [against Torture]. For this purpose, national legislation has included provisions in domestic law to facilitate judicial assistance to foreign authorities. With this in mind, a number of international agreements, bilateral and multilateral, have been concluded with the aim of fighting all forms of crime, including torture, and to facilitate judicial assistance among states.
80. Provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure regulate judicial relations with other foreign authorities (article 713 et seq.). They give the application of international conventions priority over national laws when it comes to international judicial assistance. International requests may include the collection of evidence connected with a crime of torture such as taking witness statements, inspecting sites or confiscating material connected to the crime. Judicial requests are normally passed through the diplomatic channels. But in urgent cases, they may be addressed directly to the competent judges.
81. Moroccan law, upon a request by another state, provides for the seizure of all items that may have been used in the commission of a crime of torture whether found in the possession of the person whose extradition is requested or at a later stage. It is also permitted to handover such items to the requesting state even when the person himself is not extradited for reasons such as death or escape.
82. Morocco also accepts summons by other states for witnesses living on its territory to testify in criminal cases. It is also permitted to temporarily transfer such a person, even when held in a Moroccan prison, to testify or to be questioned in person on condition that such a person is returned to Moroccan custody within a period of time set by the Moroccan authorities and after receiving guarantees for the safety of the witness including protection from physical harm. Morocco also accepts official complaints submitted by other states against Moroccan nationals responsible for crimes of torture or other crimes, inside or outside Morocco. The accused would be investigated and tried in Morocco in accordance with national legislation.
83. The Kingdom of Morocco is bound by a number of international bilateral and multilateral agreements in connection with international judicial assistance when it comes to such cases. This is an indication of Morocco’s determination to cooperate in a positive manner with other states in combating torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.
With [regards] to accountability for violations and abuse against civilians in armed conflicts, I wish to restate the four important peace proposals emphasized by our Minister for Foreign Affairs in her statement during the open debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict held in February (see S/PV.6917). First, justice must be timely. Secondly, rendering justice to victims should be the only objective of accountability mechanisms. Political considerations should have no place. Thirdly, more careful attention should be paid to the principle of subsidiarity when choosing the most appropriate venue for judicial proceedings. Fourthly, the international community should increase the investment in strengthening national judicial capacities.