Moroccan seven on remand after ‘not guilty’ plea

Moroccan seven on remand after ‘not guilty’ plea

Four juveniles, including two 15-year old boys, fished from the sea last week as they attempted to cross the straits to find work in Spain, were remanded in prison by the Magistrates Court yesterday.
The four youngsters, aged between 15 and 17 years old, were rescued from the sea along with three adult men in the early hours of Friday by the Gibraltar Pilot’s launch and subsequently handed over to police.
All seven, who are Moroccan nationals and reside in Casablanca, were kept in police cells over the weekend before being charged with being a non-Gibraltarian in Gibraltar without a valid permit of residence.
They were taken to the Magistrates Court yesterday morning where all seven pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The boys were remanded at HM Windmill Hill Prison despite pleas from their lawyer, Patrick Canessa, that they be granted bail with a condition that they go into the care of the Care Agency.
Defence barrister Mr Canessa told the court that his young clients had gone through a “traumatic experience” having been transported from Morocco by an ‘eighth person’ who was supposed to take them to Spain.
In the vicinity of the Bay, however, this individual told them that he could not take them any further and encouraged them to jump and swim for it.
Mr Canessa explained that the youngsters were heading to Spain to look for work.
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