Morocco media boss to pay minister defamation damages

According to the weekly Tel Quel site, Transport minister Aziz Rabbah (pictured) filed a complaint about two articles (AFP Photo/Chafik Arich)
The director of Morocco\’s Arabic-language newspaper Al-Akhbar, Rachid Niny, said he was sentenced Monday to pay 400,000 dirhams ($41,000, nearly 37,000 euros) in defamation damages to a minister.
Niny confirmed a report by the Goud website that he was sentenced by a Casablanca court to pay the amount to Transport Minister Aziz Rebbah.
Local media said he was also told to pay 40,000 dirhams to an adviser to Rebbah.
According to the weekly Tel Quel site, the minister filed a complaint about two articles, one of which accused a firm of having used substandard materials in a highway construction project.
Niny has appealed the judgment.
In 2011 when he was chief editor of the newspaper Al Massae, Niny was sentenced to a year in prison by a Casablanca court for criticising the national counter-espionage agency and calling for it to be placed under parliamentary control.
Al-Akhbar is the North African nation\’s second highest circulation newspaper.

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