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Spain arrests paedophile freed by Morocco

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-08-05

A Spanish paedophile, whose release from prison in Morocco under a royal pardon sparked angry protests, was arrested in Spain on Monday. Meanwhile, Morocco’s director of prisons has been sacked after an inquiry blamed his department for the release.

A convicted Spanish paedophile set free from prison in Morocco under a royal pardon has been arrested by police in Spain.

Daniel Galvan Vina was detained in Murcia in south-eastern Spain on Monday, a spokesman for the country’s interior ministry said.

Galvan, who once worked at the University of Murcia, will be taken to Madrid "in the coming hours" where he will be brought before Spain's top criminal court, the National Audience, which will decide his fate, the spokesman added.

The news came as King Mohamed VI of Morocco announced that the country’s director of prisons has been sacked after an inquiry blamed his department for Galvan’s release.

Galvan, said to be in his 60s, was pardoned by the king and freed last Tuesday from a jail in Kenitra, north of the capital Rabat.

He had been sentenced in September 2011 to 30 years in prison for the rape of 11 children aged between four and 15.

Public protests

The release sparked a mass protest in Rabat Friday that was broken up by riot police and led to several reported injuries to demonstrators and journalists.

Growing public outrage prompted King Mohamed VI to revoke the royal pardon for Galvan on Sunday, while the palace said in a statement that the king had been unaware of the nature of the man's crimes and that an inquiry into his release had been ordered.

The results of that inquiry led to the dismissal of the head of the prison system in Morocco, whose department was accused of providing false information over Galvan’s criminal record.

"The inquiry focused on determining the culpabilities and failings that led to this release," a palace statement said.

"The inquiry concluded that the said administration inadvertently provided erroneous information about the criminal record of the prisoner in question when requested by the royal court.”

Galvan was among 48 Spanish prisoners pardoned by the king in response to a request from King Juan Carlos, who visited Morocco last month.

(FRANCE 24 with wires)

Date created : 2013-08-05

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