Spain Closes 'genocide' Case Against W.Sahara Leader
Sumaira FH 2 months ago Thu 29th July 2021 | 09:25 PM
Spain's top criminal court said Thursday it had archived a case involving genocide allegations against the leader of Western Sahara's independence movement
Madrid, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 29th Jul, 2021 ) :Spain's top criminal court said Thursday it had archived a case involving genocide allegations against the leader of Western Sahara's independence movement.
Brahim Ghali, who heads the Polisario Front, had testified before the National Court on June 1 in connection with allegations of genocide against Moroccan citizens made in 2008 by ASADEDH, a Western Sahara rights group which is based in Spain.
At the hearing, Ghali testified by video conference from a hospital in northern Spain where he was recovering from a severe case of Covid-19, his presence sparking a major diplomatic standoff with Morocco.
The National Court said it closed the case because the acts that allegedly occurred between 1975 and 1990, were "beyond the statute of limitations, that the crime of genocide had not been proven, and because witnesses contradicted the claims".
But the judge turned down a request for him to be taken into custody and turn over his passport, saying he posed no flight risk.
A month later, Spain was caught off guard as up to 10,000 people surged into its tiny north African enclave of Ceuta as Moroccan border guards looked the other way in what was seen as a punitive political gesture.
Morocco controls 80 percent of the territory while the rest -- an area bordering Mauritania that is almost totally landlocked -- is run by the Polisario Front.
In 1991, following 16 years of war, Rabat and the Polisario Front signed a ceasefire but a UN-backed referendum on self-determination has been constantly postponed.