Practice Relating to Rule 161. International Cooperation in Criminal Proceedings
In 2009, in its fourth periodic report to the Committee against Torture, Morocco stated:
While extradition, in principle, is the norm in all ordinary crimes, if the Moroccan authorities … [have] reason to believe that a request for extradition lacks objective grounds, and that the request has to do with the person of the individual himself for considerations relating to his ethnicity, race, nationality, or religious or political beliefs, and that such considerations would put his life or liberty at risk or may lead to torture, extradition is denied (article 721 of the Code of Criminal Procedure). A number of bilateral agreements concluded between Morocco and some European and Arab countries take into account such considerations. A case in point is the agreement with the Arab Republic of Egypt … and the agreement with the Kingdom of Belgium.
Morocco further stated:
73. In accordance with article 8 of the Convention against Torture, Moroccan law contains a series of legal provisions relating to crimes of torture or the attempt to use torture when dealing with extradition mechanisms as part of international judicial cooperation.
74. While provisions under Moroccan law governing the extradition of criminals do not make a specific reference to the crime of torture because the Code of Criminal [P]rocedure does not enumerate in detail the offences that may be the subject of extradition, the Code does, however, recognise the offences and acts punishable under the laws of the requesting state.
75. As such, perpetrators of crimes of torture, under Moroccan law, are subject to extradition in accordance with article 4, paragraph 1, of the Convention.
76. The same principle applies to the bilateral agreements Morocco has entered into with other states. Moroccan law, does not exclude perpetrators of crimes of torture from extradition when a state with which Morocco has entered into a bilateral agreement, makes such a request. Exclusions only apply to political, military and customs offences.
77. Morocco has received and responded to a number of requests for extradition, some of which relate to acts of assault and violence, from a number of states. One example is the request in 2008 by the French judicial authorities to their Moroccan counterparts to hand over a Dutch national accused of committing acts of violence and assault. The request was granted.
78. Under bilateral extradition agreements, there is no prohibition on the handing over of perpetrators of acts of torture except when it comes to observing the provisions of international conventions. Moroccan law gives the application of international instruments precedence over domestic law when it comes to international judicial cooperation, having ascertained that persons extradited would not be tortured in the requesting state. This reflects Morocco’s commitment to extend judicial cooperation in fighting crime, especially acts of torture that may be committed by public officials entrusted with enforcing the law.