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Last Updated: Friday, 12 September, 2003, 05:38 GMT 06:38 UK
Briton in Morocco bomb trial
Casa de Espana
The Casa de Espana restaurant was wrecked in the blast
The trial of a British national accused of involvement in the Casablanca bombings in May will begin in Morocco on Friday.

Abdellatif Merroun, who has dual British and Moroccan nationality, denies allegations that he was connected to the attack, which killed 45 people.

It is not yet known what charges he will face, but they could include criminal association - shorthand for belonging to the banned Islamist organisation, Salafia Jihadia, which was blamed for the attacks.

Mr Merroun is the second British national to be tried on terrorism charges in Morocco since the bombings.

Last month Anthony Perry Jensen, 37, from London, was acquitted at the High Court in Fez of belonging to Salafia Jihadia.

However, he was sentenced to four months in prison for "immorality" for failing to properly register his marriage to 17-year-old Moroccan Fatima Ezera.

Witnesses

Abdellatif Merroun was picked up by Moroccan police in a wave of arrests following the bombings.

He will be tried in the Court of Appeal in the capital, Rabat.

Sources say he has already had a pre-trial confrontation with witnesses who say he was involved with one of the movement's spiritual leaders - an allegation he has denied.

Mr Merroun has rejected his court-appointed lawyer and hired his own defence.

He told British officials that he was roughly handled by police on his arrest, but does not claim to have been tortured.

Mr Merroun is a Moroccan by birth who became a British national after marrying an English woman.

The five suicide bombs on 16 May tore through a Spanish restaurant, the Belgian consulate, a Jewish community centre and cemetery and a hotel.

Thirty-three people were killed, along with 12 suicide bombers.




SEE ALSO:
Suspect claims intelligence link
08 Sep 03  |  Africa
Morocco victims press for aid
08 Sep 03  |  Africa
Morocco suspect dies in custody
28 May 03  |  Middle East
Morocco passes anti-terror law
28 May 03  |  Africa
In pictures: Casablanca mourns
18 May 03  |  Photo Gallery
Bomb carnage shocks Morocco
17 May 03  |  Africa


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