Last week, a French appellate court decided to refer Moroccan singer Saad Lamjarred’s case to the Court of Assizes over allegations of rape of a young woman at the Marriot hotel in Paris in 2016. The pop star has a string of allegations that have resulted in his arrest on previous occasions and subsequent release.
In 2018, Lamjarred was detained over an alleged incident which took place in a Saint-Tropez hotel and was already on bail at the time over similar charges. The singer has previously walked away from allegations of sexual assault and enjoys the support of Moroccan King Mohammed VI, who contributed to his legal costs.
According to Le Parisien, the court of appeal overturned the order made last April by the investigating judge who reclassified Lamjarred’s case to the criminal court.
Lamjarred, 34, has maintained his innocence and his lawyers have said they “will appeal to the Court of Cassation” in order to avoid a lawsuit.
However, the lawyer for the complainant Laura Prioul, who is now 23, welcomed the legal move and was satisfied with the decision. “The investigating chamber made a rigorous reading and analysis of the facts and did not follow the prosecution which asked for confirmation of the correctional referral. Rape is a crime, the assize court is competent,” said Jean-Marc Descoubes. Morocco World News reported that the victim said that the singer “ruined” her life, claiming that Lamjarred had raped and beat her after she “refused him”.
Lamjarred is one of the most popular artists in Morocco and has over ten million followers on social media. His most famous record “Lm3allem” is said to be the most-watched Arabic song on YouTube with nearly 800 million views. He regularly tours and performs in the Gulf states. He performed as recently as 10 January in Dubai alongside Egyptian artist Mohammed Ramadan.