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Morocco media boss to pay minister defamation damages

The director of Morocco’s Arabic-language newspaper Al-Akhbar, Rachid Niny, said he was sentenced Monday to pay $41,000

Published: Updated:

The director of Morocco’s Arabic-language newspaper Al-Akhbar, Rachid Niny, said he was sentenced Monday to pay $41,000 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 $15,000 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 criticizing 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.