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Morocco family receive body of jet skier killed in Algeria: lawyers

The body of a Moroccan man killed by the Algerian coastguard this summer, after crossing the border on a jet ski, was returned to his family, their lawyers said on Thursday.

“After around four months of urgent attempts, the body of the deceased Abdelali Mchiouer was returned to his family, and to all those who loved him in Morocco and abroad,” lawyers Hakim Cherki and Ghizlane Mouhtaram said in a statement.

The family thanked “anonymous and public personalities” who helped them, including Moroccan diplomat Abderrahim Chakir for “persistent activism and dedication” that allowed the return of the body to Morocco, said the statement.

Mchiouer’s body will undergo an autopsy “under the supervision of the Moroccan judicial authorities” before being buried, it added.

The 40-year-old Moroccan resident of France and his cousin, Bilal Kissi, a 29-year-old French-Moroccan, were killed after straying into Algerian waters in August, according to a brother of one of the victims who was with them that day.

A third man, Smail Snabe, who is also French-Moroccan, was arrested by the Algerian coastguard and remains imprisoned in Algeria.

Algeria had said its security forces only fired after issuing “an audible warning and ordering them to stop several times”.

The incident came at a time of high tension between the neighbouring North African states.

In August 2021, Algeria cut off diplomatic relations amid fresh disagreements over the Western Sahara dispute and Morocco’s decision to normalise ties with Israel.

Rabat said Algiers’s decision to cut ties was “completely unjustified”.

Earlier this month, the Algerian coastguard arrested three other Moroccan nationals who crossed its western maritime border on a jet ski, according to Algeria’s defence ministry.

Source: The New Arab