Morocco’s King Mohamed VI withdrew a pardon granted to a Spanish man accused of sexually molesting at least 11 children following angry protests in the kingdom, a palace statement said on Sunday.
The king “has decided to withdraw the pardon previously accorded to Daniel Galvan Vina,” said the statement published by the official MAP news agency.
The statement added that the justice minister would discuss with Madrid “the next step after the pardon’s revocation” amid reports that Vina was no longer in the country.
The announcement comes shortly before a large protest was scheduled to take place against the pardon.
Vina, convicted of raping 11 children aged between four and 15, was one of the 48 Spanish prisoners released following a request by Spanish King Juan Carlos, who was in Morocco, the justice ministry said.
Earlier, the king had ordered a probe into his release and said that he was unaware of the nature of Vina’s crimes.
The Spanish man, said to be in his 60s, was freed from jail on Tuesday in Kenitra, north of the capital. He had been sentenced in September 2011 to 30 years in prison.
In recent months, there has been a wave of anger at pedophilia incidents in the country.
Thousands of Moroccans marched in Casablanca in June to condemn pedophilia and violence against children in the North African country.
On June 20, police arrested a suspected British pedophile after local residents overheard screams from a six-year-old girl he allegedly abducted.
And in May, a Casablanca court jailed a 60-year-old Frenchman for 12 years after charging him with molesting children.