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Saad Lamjarred trial: Prosecution requests seven-year sentence in sexual assault case

French prosecutor says Lamjarred 'guilty of rape' and should be banned from France for five years after serving sentence
Moroccan singer Saad Lamjarred, second right, leaves court in Paris on 20 February 2023 (AP)

French prosecutors have asked a court to impose a seven-year sentence against Moroccan singer Saad Lamjarred, who is being tried on charges of sexual assault and rape.

Public prosecutor Jean-Christophe Mollet said on Thursday that Lamjarred "is guilty of rape" and asked the court in Paris to ban him from entering France for five years after he has served seven years in prison.

Mollet added that in rape cases "we often hear about statements versus statements, but before statements, there are facts".

If convicted, Lamjarred, who has denied the charges, could still face up to 20 years in prison, but will be able to appeal the sentence. 

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Lamjarred was initially arrested in France in 2016 in connection with a sexual assault case, but was released seven months later and placed under electronic surveillance.

Trial in Paris

On Wednesday, Laura P, a 27-year-old French woman, testified against Lamjarred before the Paris Assize Court, recounting "a nightmare evening" in 2016 when, she alleges, he raped her in the French capital.

This is the latest of several rape accusations Lamjarred has faced since 2010.

In her testimony, published by AFP, Laura P told the court she was 20 years old when she met the now 37-year-old pop star in October 2016 in an upscale nightclub in Paris.

Around 6am, she and Lamjarred went alone to the singer's room at the Marriott, Laura P told the court.

"We danced, listened to music, talked about everything and nothing," she said. 

"We kissed, and then suddenly, he pushed my head, which hit the ground." The singer allegedly ordered her to remove her T-shirt, and she complied because she was "terrified", she recounted in tears.

Laura P added that Lamjarred then beat and raped her, with two "vaginal and anal" penetrations, before she managed to push him away and escape the room to ask for help.

Sitting a metre behind her in the courtroom, Lamjarred looked down, while his wife watched from a nearby bench.

In his statements to the court, Lamjarred denied the accusations.

"I have never, ever, ever penetrated Laura, neither with my fingers nor with my penis," he said. "If something affected her or scared her, that was not my intention at all."

His lawyer said Laura P had not presented any evidence to support the accusations, but Laura P said she has his DNA and her wounds as evidence, which she had presented at the police station on the night of the incident.

Lamjarred has faced numerous social media campaigns demanding the cancellation of his concerts and the boycotting of his music due to the rape allegations. In 2020, a concert in Cairo was cancelled following a backlash online.

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