Morocco: Court in favour of extraditing French cybercrime suspect Sebastien Raoult to US

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The Court of Cassation of Morocco has pronounced a "favorable opinion" to the extradition to the United States of the Frenchman Sebastien Raoult, suspected in a case of cybercrime, according to an official document consulted Monday by the AFP.

In a decision rendered on July 20, the highest court of the country "did not order" the extradition of the 21-year-old Frenchman, incarcerated for two months in Morocco, but said it was "favorable", a Moroccan source close to the case told AFP.

The extradition itself can only be decided "by the Prime Minister on the proposal of a commission also bringing together the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Justice", the same source added.

To motivate its decision, the Court of Cassation indicated that the extradition request was presented by the United States "within the time limit provided by law", accompanied by all the necessary documents (arrest warrant, summary of facts and information on the identity of the suspect).

In addition, it specifies that the "crimes" for which it is claimed by the Americans "have their equivalents in the Moroccan penal code" and adds that "the extradition request meets all the conditions required by law".

The French lawyer of Sebastien Raoult, Philippe Ohayon, reacted to AFP by reiterating his request to open a judicial investigation in France, accompanied by a French arrest warrant to obtain the extradition of his client to France.

This decision "strengthens our determination to obtain the extradition to France of Sebastien Raoult," he said.

"We believe that Sébastien Raoult has not simply been abandoned by France, but that he has been sacrificed, in view of the Franco-American police operation of May 31 with the arrest in France of five other people in this case," the same day as the arrest of his client in Morocco.

The case is stirring up a lot of emotion in France, where Sebastien Raoult's father recently appealed to President Emmanuel Macron to help him.

The American authorities are demanding the extradition of the 21-year-old student from Epinal for his alleged involvement in a cybercrime case targeting American companies. According to the French weekly L'Obs, the giant Microsoft would be part of it.

Sébastien Raoult has been incarcerated since June 2 in the Tiflet 2 prison, near Rabat. He faces up to 116 years in prison in the United States if convicted, according to Mr. Ohayon.

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