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Morocco's king revokes pardon for Spanish pedophile after protests

By Mohammed Tawfeeq, CNN
August 6, 2013 -- Updated 1534 GMT (2334 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • King Mohammed VI of Morocco withdraws pedophile's pardon after protests
  • Daniel Galvan Vina, convicted of raping 11 children, was among pardoned Spanish prisoners
  • Protesters demonstrated outside Morocco's Parliament building in Rabat, the capital
  • King did not know details of Galvan's case, monarchy says on its website

Read a version of this story in Arabic.

(CNN) -- Morocco's king revoked on Sunday the pardon of a convicted Spanish pedophile that sparked angry protests in the North African nation.

"King Mohammed VI has decided to withdraw the pardon previously accorded to Daniel Galvan Vina," the royal office announced on its official website on Sunday.

The statement said the "exceptional revocation" was ordered by the king because of the "gravity of the crimes committed by the person concerned, as well as out of respect for victims' rights."

According to official newspapers, Galvan was convicted of raping 11 Moroccan children and sentenced 30 years in prison in September 2011. The children ranged in age from 4 to 14.

Galvan, a retired professor, was arrested in December 2010 after he was found with CDs and external storage units containing pornographic images of him raping children.

It was unclear whether Galvan had left the country, as several media reported, but the monarchy said the king has ordered the Minister of Justice to speak with his Spanish counterpart about the actions that would follow the revocation of the pardon.

On Friday, hundreds of angry demonstrators protested outside the country's Parliament building in Rabat, the capital, to protest the royal pardon, according to media reports and social media websites.

A statement posted on the official Moroccan monarchy website on Saturday said that the king had not been informed of the details about the case.

The king "has not been informed on all gravity of the despicable crimes committed by this person," the statement said. The monarchy also said that it will investigate what led to Galvan's release.

Galvan was one of 48 Spanish prisoners who were pardoned. King Juan Carlos of Spain thanked King Mohammed for his action, according to a statement on the Moroccan monarchy's site dated July 31.

Meanwhile, Moroccans on social media are trying to organize another protest in the next few days.

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