Establishing the Truth
The press statement, released by the Moroccan Department of Military Justice, on the 10th November 2008, was published in several Moroccan newspapers, the day after the brutal arrest of Kaddour Terhzaz. It read as follows :
Proceedings against the former Colonel Major Kaddour Terhzaz
“The Ex-Colonel Major Terhzaz Kaddour, who retired in 1995, for disciplinary action for violation of general military rules, has re-offended, including the disclosure of military information and the deterioration of equipment and military goods. The respondent is currently the subject of legal proceedings initiated against him by the Department of Military Justice, following a complaint lodged against him by the General State of the Royal Forces Armies, said the source “
Rebuttal of these accusations :
1 – Retirement by discipline:
The Colonel Major Kaddour Terhzaz DID NOT leave the army as a consequence of any disciplinary measure. He retired in 1995 at the age of 58, in a manner entirely legal, with five other Colonel Majors. He had been placed “out of context” (without basis) in 1986, and therefore, could not violate general military rules. Indeed, the term “reoffended” is devoid of meaning and served no purpose, other than to attempt to destroy the reputation of Kaddour Terhzaz.
2 – Deterioration of equipment and military goods :
Kaddour Terhzaz and his family had occupied since 1959, a dwelling in the old core city of Rabat (as did other military families). Over the years, Kaddour willingly paid for this simple cottage, to be extensively renovated and extended. In addition, together with his wife, Annie, they cultivated the surrounding land with fruit trees and other shrubberies.
After many years of residence, Kaddour Terhzaz applied to the authorities to purchase this property. However, his application (and those of other military families) were turned down. It had been decided that the prime land which these homes were built upon, should be sold onto a private company for future development. Therefore, in January 2008, the Terhzaz family moved out of their home, as did other military families from neighbouring properties.
Naturally, with no guards or future tenants, these evacuated homes were very quickly plundered by outsiders. However, the Military Justice alleged that Kaddour Terhzaz had stripped his home of its fittings and in doing so, had “deteriorated military equipment and good”.
This accusation is COMPLETELY FALSE and was consequently “ABANDONED” by the Military Justice before Kaddour’s “trial”.
3 – Disclosure of Military Information
In 2006, Colonel Major Terhzaz penned a letter for the attention of His Majesty the King Mohammed VI the Supreme Leader and Chief of Staff General of the Royal Armed Forces (FAR). This letter outlined the problems encountered by former prisoners of FAR, who were struggling to cope with life (psychologically and economically), after decades of imprisonment. As the former 2nd in Command of the Moroccan Air Force, Kaddour Terhzaz also analyzed objectively the real gaps in Moroccan aviation in the 1970s…gaps which had resulted in many fighter planes being shot down.
The issues raised by KaddourTerhzaz in his letter to the Moroccan King had been common knowledge for many years. Indeed, Captain Ali Najab (the pilot who turned to Kaddour Terhzaz for help upon his release from captivity) wrote an article in which he highlighted these same issues. It was published in the Moroccan journal, “Hebdo International” in April, 2006. In contrast, Kaddour Terhzaz DID NOT contact/pass on or publish any information (military or otherwise) to the media in Morocco or abroad. A fact COMPLETELY ignored by the tribunal.
Therefore, the question remains…Why was Kaddour Terhzaz sentenced to twelve years in prison for “disclosing military information” when the letter in which he expressed his concerns, was for the attention of the “Chief of the Moroccan Armed Forces”, namely His Majesty, the King? Furthermore, it is most revealing that the Military Court ordered that the copie of Kaddour’s letter should be destroyed!!
Surely it is not beyond the realms of possibility to surmise that the allegations and action taken against Kaddour Terhzaz by the Military Justice, was, in reality, a carefully planned and executed campaign, mounted against a retired officer, who in their view was “rocking the military boat.”
12 years in prison for having expressed his solidarity to former comrades!