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Jailed royal lookalike appeals to Morocco king

Mistaking him for the king, police had cleared the road for the young man at the wheel of a luxury car

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A man jailed for three years on charges of impersonating Morocco's King Mohammed VI appealed on Thursday for a royal pardon, a newspaper reported.

"I call on the king to intervene and to kindly pardon me," Nabil Sbai, 30, told Akhbar al-Youm from his prison cell.

Arrested on Aug. 20 in Rabat, Sbai was convicted last month for having "usurped the identity of a senior official."

Mistaking him for the king, police had cleared the road for the young man at the wheel of a luxury car and onlookers had cheered as he drove by, media reports said.

Sbai told Akhbar Al-Youm he had not meant to cash in on any resemblance, which in any case had been more a case of "clothing rather than physical."

He had been overwhelmed by cries of "Long live the king!" and not deliberately tried to imitate King Mohammed. "I was scared and didn't know what to do," Sbai said.