A Moroccan court, on Wednesday, sentenced the famous rapper, “Kandi Toto”, to a suspended sentence of 8 months, on charges of “insult, defamation and threatening”, on the background of his statements about marijuana consumption, according to his defense.
His lawyer, Abdel Fattah Zahrach, told AFP that the Casablanca Court of First Instance also imposed a fine of 50,000 dirhams (approximately $5,000) on him for civil rights claimants, expressing his “partial satisfaction with this ruling.”
The Public Prosecution Office prosecuted Taha Al-Fahsi (26 years old), known by his artistic title “Al-Kandari Toto”, in October on charges of “insult, defamation and threat”. The prosecution was based, in particular, on a complaint filed by a Moroccan journalist residing in Belgium on charges of “promoting drug consumption”, as well as “defamation”, “threat” and “breach of modesty”.
This took place against the backdrop of a contention between them on social media, following the journalist’s criticism of statements made by Toto, on the sidelines of a party in Rabat in September, about his smoking hashish. In it, he said in particular, “Yes, I smoke hashish, and what next?”, before adding, emphasizing, “It does not necessarily mean that I set a bad example” for young people.
The artist’s lawyer said Wednesday, “I am partially satisfied with this ruling, but I do not understand why it included a fine while my client did not commit any criminal act against the civil party.”
“We will discuss whether or not to appeal” the ruling issued in the absence of the artist, who is in Senegal as part of his artistic activities, he added.
Toto had apologized on the eve of his appearance before the police in the context of this case, in October, for those statements, which were circulated and exaggerated on social media and electronic media, which caused a sensation.
Toto is widely popular as he was ranked the second most streamed artist on the Spotify music app in North Africa and the Middle East last year, after Egyptian rapper Wigs.
While his YouTube channel attracts more than 2.8 million subscribers, with more than 462 million views.
Since 2011, nine Moroccan rappers have already faced prosecution or prison sentences in connection with various cases. The most famous of them is Moaz Belghouat, known as “Al-Haqed”, who was known for his songs critical of the authorities.