Freed pedophile rearrested in Spain after Morocco pardon fiasco

Release of Daniel Galván on Sunday after serving barely two years of 30-year sentence sparked riots outside Morocco’s parliament

Moroccans protest against release of Spanish paedophile

Demonstrators in Morocco protest against the release of Daniel Galván. Photograph: Abdelhak Senna/EPA

A convicted Spanish paedophile whose pardon by the King of Morocco sparked riots there has been arrested in Murcia in south-east Spain.

Daniel Galván’s arrest is the latest episode in a diplomatic farce that began with his release at the end of July along with 47 other Spanish prisoners held in Moroccan jails, the majority of them on drugs charges, after Spain’s King Juan Carlos allegedly appealed for their pardon.

He was released on Sunday after serving barely two years of his 30-year sentence for sexually abusing 11 children aged between three and 14, leading to riots in front of the parliament building in the Moroccan capital, Rabat.

In response to the protests, Morocco’s King Mohammed VI revoked Galván’s pardon late on Sunday, saying he would never have granted it had he been aware of the seriousness of his crimes – but Galván had already left the country.

Initially there was speculation that Galván, an Iraqi with Spanish citizenship, was pardoned on the orders of Spain’s secret service, for whom he had allegedly been working as a spy in Iraq.

It then emerged that the Moroccan authorities had been presented with two lists by the Spanish government: one with the names of 15 prisoners to be pardoned, and the other with 33 prisoners to be sent to Spain to complete their sentences. The king mistakenly pardoned them all, including Galván, who went to Spain with the help of Spanish authorities.

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