MAP - Friday, September 6th 2019

Legal Action Against Journalist Unrelated to Her Profession But Linked to Abortion, Public Prosecutor

Rabat - The legal proceedings against a journalist, who was arrested recently along with others including a physician, are not related to her profession but are based on facts linked to abortion, said on Thursday the public prosecutor at the Rabat first instance court.

The arrest of this person happened by chance following her visit to a clinic which was watched, on the basis of information by the judicial police that abortion operations were repeatedly practiced inside it, said the public prosecutor in a statement.

The legal action against this person has nothing to do with her job but was taken based on facts considered as crimes under the penal law. These crimes are regular abortion, consent to have abortion, participation in this operation and debauchery, in accordance with articles 444, 450, 454, 490 and 129 of the penal law, said the same source.

The judicial police apprehended this person, at the entrance of the building which houses the clinic, while she was getting ready to leave with a foreign individual and not on a public road as reported by social media, the source explained, adding that this person gave the physician in charge of the abortion operation a false ID as stated in the clinic medical records.

The document posted on social networks as being a medical expertise is nothing but this person's consultation report drawn up on 31/08/2019 by the physician on duty at the maternity hospital ER, including some observations while awaiting blood tests, after which an expertise was conducted and submitted to the court on 04/09/2019. The expertise shows that this person told the physician that she has undergone voluntarily an abortion at 7 weeks' gestation in a private clinic in the morning of Aug. 31, 2019 and has had previously a miscarriage at 6 months' gestation.

This expertise also includes the results of the tests carried out by the doctor and which prove a termination of pregnancy on the basis of several tests mentioned in the expertise report, including the presence of pregnancy hormone (BHCG), which confirms that this person was pregnant, in addition to the presence of signs of pregnancy during a cervical examination with a speculum, the absence of the gestational sac revealed following an ultrasound and the presence of blood tissue remains.

The report by the laboratory of the scientific police, which conducted DNA tests on the biological samples collected in the clinic, received on 05/09/2019, revealed a female genetic fingerprint corresponding to that of this person. The DNA samples were taken from spots on tissues, bandages and gloves, as well as from the syringe used on the said woman, the source said.

While deploring the fact of being forced to make public a case considered normal and evidence-based, which will be debated, proven or denied in court, the public prosecutor's office is obliged to make these clarifications, being convinced of the constitutional right of the citizen to access the information on the basis of documents and reports which constitute, legally speaking, prosecution evidence, which can only be overruled by exculpation evidence, and are no longer subject to confidentiality after the case was publicly brought before the court.