MADRID (AP) — A Spaniard who was convicted in Morocco of raping 11 children and then mistakenly pardoned by the North African country’s king must be held in jail while officials from both countries discuss his fate, a Spanish court said on Tuesday.
Judge Fernando Andreu sent Daniel Galvan Vina to jail after the state prosecutor’s office said that his criminal record was very serious and there was a chance of flight, Spain’s National Court said in its ruling.
Spanish and Moroccan Justice Ministry officials were to meet later in Madrid to decide what to do with Galvan. He was arrested in the southeastern city of Murcia on Monday on an international arrest warrant after Morocco’s King Mohammed VI rescinded his pardon following protests at home.
Spain says it asked Morocco last month to pardon 18 Spaniards in jail there and transfer 30 others, including Galvan, back to Spain. But Morocco pardoned and released all 48.
Galvan, 63, was convicted in 2011 and was serving a 30-year sentence in Morocco before the pardon came through.
Protests broke out in Morocco’s capital, Rabat, last week after it was revealed that Galvan was freed.
Morocco is seeking his extradition but under a bilateral agreement Galvin could be allowed to serve out his sentence in Spain.
The Spanish National Court ruling said Galvan told the court he was born in Iraq but was granted Spanish nationality after marrying a Spaniard, from whom he is now divorced. The court said he has spent most of his life in Spain and Iraq but has also lived in Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Britain and most recently Morocco.