"Daniel Gate" - the drama continues
It is rare for the Moroccan people to take to the streets in protest over an action by Morocco's King, Mohammed VI - but the inclusion of Daniel Galvin in the list of those pardoned by the King on Throne Day caused a massive outcry. The release coincided with a recent visit by Spain's King Juan Carlos.
The 64-year-old Spaniard, jailed in 2011 for raping 11 children aged between four to 15 from 2003 to 2010 was released on Wednesday and left the country on Thursday.
Dozens of people were injured in clashes with police on Friday after thousands protested outside parliament in the capital Rabat. Protesters criticised the pardon as "an international shame" with one demonstrator saying the state "defends the rape of Moroccan children".
Similar demonstrations were broken up earlier on Friday in the northern cities of Tangiers and Tetouan.
"This is the first time Moroccans directly contested a particularly decision of the king," Fadel Abdellaoui, one of the demonstration's organiser's told Al Jazeera.
One young female student said: "This is the first time I have been to a demonstration because I am outraged by this pardon which has set this paedophile free."
Abdelali Hamiddine, a senior member of the ruling moderate Islamist Party of Justice and Development, said the pardon was a "mistake". "Moroccans have the right to demonstrate when they feel humiliated and the authorities do not have the right to step in so violently."
The response from the Royal Palace was swift. The pardon was canceled on Sunday, August 4 and on Monday the Spanish pedophile was arrested in the southeast of Spain.
Daniel Galvan, sentenced in 2011 to 30 years in prison in Morocco for raping eleven children, "was arrested at a hotel in Murcia". He is currently detained at the Police of the city and must be made available to the Madrid court of the National Court, said a ministry spokesman.
The arrest was made by officers of the "National Police Force", which launched the search as soon as Morocco has issued an international arrest warrant against the pédophile.
While it is virtually impossible that the pedophile be repatriated to Morocco to serve the remainder of his sentence, he could serve it in Spain.
But now more reports suggest the 60-year-old man may have actually been a spy.
"The paedophile was released on the request of Spain's secret services," Morocco's Lakome news site reported on Friday, citing Moroccan sources close to the matter.
Justice Minister Mustapha Ramid confirmed in a statement that the prisoner had been freed for "reasons of national security".
"This (pardon) was an agreement between the DGED (the Moroccan secret service) and it's Spanish equivalent, the National Intelligence Centre (CNI)," a Moroccan source told El Pais.
"The Spaniards insisted that he be put in the list and they achieved this," the source told the Spanish paper.
According to El Pais, the convicted paedophile told his lawyer, Mohamed Benjedou, that he was an official of the Iraqi army who had collaborated with foreign secret services in the downfall of Sadam Hussein.
But the lawyer also told the daily the man had worked as professor of Ocean Sciences at Spain's Murcia University. "I didn't believe him because it's impossible he did both those things at the same time in places so far apart," Benjedou said.
Meanwhile the Royal Palace has instigated a swift search for the cause of the embarrassing release.
The investigation ordered by King Mohammed VI locates the failure at the General Delegation of Corrections and Rehabilitation who retain full responsibility, said a statement from the Royal Cabinet that was released on Monday.