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The murder of Rym Fikri’s husband: what we know

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Authorities have disclosed the grim details of the disappearance of the husband of Moroccan artist Rym Fikri, revealing that he was kidnapped, tortured and brutally dismembered in Mansouria, Benslimane province. 

The ordeal began on Thursday, February 8th when the victim, Reda Faras, 37 years old, was abducted around 10 p.m near his home in Casablanca by assailants using an off-road vehicle. 

The victim’s keys, stained with blood, were discovered by the concierge on the ground. The car used in the abduction was located in Mohammadia the day after the incident, with blood spatters inside that raised suspicions. 

Despite one car wash worker questioning the blood, his boss attributed it to hunting activities by the car owners. 

Six individuals, led by a French-Moroccan national, known as “Turbo,” and including the car wash owner, were subsequently arrested in connection with the crime.

According to reports, the suspects are accused of kidnapping and torturing the victim, resulting in his death. 

The primary suspect allegedly disposed of the victim’s body after dismembering it, and putting it in plastic bags, and tossing the bags into a stream.

The body of Fikri’s husband was discovered abandoned near a river close to Rabat on Thursday.

Specialized teams from the forensic and technical police, along with the Civil Protection, continue to comb the area for additional evidence. 

The motive behind the crime appears to stem from previous conflicts between the victim and the main suspect, suggesting a macabre settling of scores. 

As the investigation progresses, the six suspects, including the prime accused, “Turbo,” remain in custody pending further inquiry into the exact circumstances of this heinous crime.

Rym Fikri told Hespress that she was summoned for questioning, and then the authorities visited her residence to review the camera footage and conduct an inquiry. 

Fikri added that she visited a judicial police officer and waited in their office. On that same day, “Turbo” was present at the same location for questioning. 

The artist said that she waited her turn for questioning, alongside “Turbo” who was being interrogated separately. She added that she encountered the same person in the hallway the following day, albeit in handcuffs.

“Turbo”: sentenced in France, acquitted in Morocco

Reda Abakrim, known as ‘Turbo’,  a ‘top priority’ for French anti-drug trafficking authorities, had been on the run since 2007, the year of the murder in Poissy (Yvelines, Paris region) of Brahim Hajaji, for which he was accused. 

In this case, he was sentenced, in absentia, in June 2020, to 21 years in prison by the Versailles Assize Court, near Paris.

“Turbo” was arrested on December 22, 2020, at Casablanca airport after narrowly escaping Dubai where French anti-drug trafficking investigators were pursuing him. 

In Morocco, he was prosecuted for ‘participation in kidnapping, sequestration, and voluntary homicide’ in the same case since he holds Moroccan nationality. 

Over two years later, a Moroccan court acquitted him of the murder committed in France in 2007.

Reda Abakrim, 40, is considered by investigators to be one of the biggest cannabis exporters from Morocco to France.

Allegations and response 

The family of Rym Fikri’s husband said that their son’s relationship with the artist had not been going well since their marriage last August,2023. 

The victim’s sister said that after her brother’s abduction, Fikri didn’t take any action, and instead attended an event the following day in Marrakech.

The in-laws accused Fikri of practicing sorcery, witchcraft and cheating. The victim’s father said that Rym did not live in her husband’s house, and they were allegedly on the verge of divorce.

The father also said that his son should have stayed with his initial French wife, Tania, who contributed to his financial success and made sacrifices for him.

In response to these statements, Mourad El Ajjouti, lawyer for Rym Fikri, issued a press release on Thursday evening expressing his client’s surprise at statements made by the deceased’s family shortly after the police confirmed his murder.

“We were taken aback to receive accusations from my client’s husband’s family mere hours after his tragic disappearance was announced. We firmly denounce these baseless and unsupported allegations and question their timing,” the statement said.

El Ajjouti said that these surprising remarks, coming at an inappropriate time, seemed aimed at depriving his client of her rightful inheritance. 

“While acknowledging the difficult circumstances faced by the deceased’s family, we caution them that such statements, amounting to defamation, are subject to criminal law. My client reserves the right to pursue all legal avenues to safeguard her reputation and rights,” the statement concluded.

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