Moroccan authorities have charged eight suspected collaborators of French insurance coverage tycoon Jacques Bouthier in a sexual abuse and trafficking case, attorneys for the complainants stated Thursday.
Bouthier, 76 and one in every of France’s richest males, is being held in Paris on suspicion of kid rape and trafficking.
The case in Morocco opened in June 2022 when 4 former staff of an area subsidiary of Bouthier’s insurance coverage group Assu2000, later renamed Vilavi, pressed expenses towards him.
The eight suspects — six Moroccans together with two ladies, and two Frenchmen — have been charged at a legal court docket within the northern metropolis of Tangiers with human trafficking, sexual harassment, “incitement to debauchery” and aiding a criminal offense, stated lawyer Nezha Khoubiza.
4 of them are presently in detention, added one other lawyer for the complainants, Karima Salama, throughout a information convention in Rabat.
“A ninth suspect within the case, a Frenchman, has died in a current automobile accident,” Salama stated.
The accusations embody repeated sexual harassment and intimidation between 2018 and April 2022 within the Tangiers places of work of Assu 2000, led on the time by Bouthier.
An investigative choose accomplished his probe in January, a lawyer for the accusers stated on the time.
In a information convention final yr, the ladies stated that they had been sacked from the agency after refusing to “give in to harassment and blackmail” over their employment by Bouthier and different French and Moroccan executives.
Such public declarations are uncommon in Morocco, the place sexual abuse victims usually face social stigma.
One of many complainants stated on Thursday: “This case has shaken our lives. We’re in a weak and nerve-racking state of affairs, however the opening of the trial is an effective factor.”