Kiosk360. Speaking before the Justice Committee, Abdellatif Ouahbi complained about the attitude of the presidents of the bar who denied the agreements signed before the minister in charge of the budget and the head of government. This article is a press review from the daily Assabah.
The Minister of Justice, Abdellatif Ouahbi, could not hide his desolation and his disappointment, Monday, November 22, when he expressed his concerns with the lawyers before the Justice and Legislation Committee in the House of Councilors .
The daily Assabah reports, in its edition of Wednesday, November 23, that the minister gave a long account of the negotiations he entered into with the black robes to find a consensus on their new tax system.
During this intervention, he made a point of emphasizing that he had not involved the king in the conflict which opposes him to the lawyers, specifying that he had simply given explanations on the impossibility of withdrawing chapters from the Finance Act relating to the taxation of lawyers, as they were presented to the Council of Ministers chaired by the sovereign.
“I was hoping to introduce amendments to the finance bill in agreement with the Moroccan Bar Association (ABAM). I did not expect the lawyers to go back on the agreements reached, whether with the deputy minister, Fouzi Lakjaâ, or with the head of government, Aziz Akhannouch. I was surprised that presidents challenged this agreement and took part in demonstrations. Also, I am ready to submit my resignation if it turns out that I have failed in my duty to my colleagues, ”he specifies.
The minister confided in the parliamentarians, saying that he had been much more pained by the silence of the presidents of the bar and the lawyers who know the truth than by the accusations, insults and defamatory remarks of the protesters. “I have always acted in good faith vis-à-vis lawyers, and my only concern was to give them the value and weight they deserve so that their commitments are compatible with their duties. But I was strongly disappointed after their denunciation of the agreement, ignoring the status of the chairman, president of ABAM”, hammered the minister.
Assabah points out that Ouahbi referred to an international report on the Kingdom indicating that Moroccan lawyers were not paying their taxes. What is considered by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) as money laundering. Suffice to say, adds Ouahbi, that “the lawyer who declares 10,000 dirhams of annual income when he earns much more and owns a villa or an apartment and a car will be prosecuted for money laundering. This process will be mandatory on a planetary scale and requires the Moroccan lawyer to adapt to what is happening around him in this village that the world has become. A world that has seen many changes because, in the past, the lawyer who defended foreign companies collected his fees by transferring the amount due via the exchange office,” notes Ouahbi.
Today, he continues, “this procedure is no longer acceptable in Europe in the absence of a document attesting to the payment of taxes. Each offender will be prosecuted for money laundering or tax evasion. He will be prohibited from exercising, because the banks will denounce him to the services concerned”.
And the Minister to complain to the members of the Justice and Legislation Committee. “I was appalled when I heard some say that I had disowned my profession and decided on my own initiative to introduce a new tax for lawyers. Which is not true, because I only wanted to reorganize the payment of taxes in a transparent way. These inconveniences reminded me of the late Abderrahim Bouabid and Mhamed Boucetta, who defended the people and not the money. One of them was, moreover, imprisoned because he had defended the people. It is important that the former presidents of the bar be on the side of logic and truth, and not lies.
Addressing the bill governing the profession of lawyer, Abdellatif Ouahbi pointed out that he had presented a preliminary draft to former presidents of the bar and to the leaders of ABAM who, after having studied it, considered that it had positives and negatives. But, he continues, he was surprised when this preliminary draft leaked to trigger a wave of protests which forced him to send copies to the presidents of the bar. But, instead of examining it, the latter protested against the opening of dialogue on this preliminary draft, forgetting to take an interest in the bill governing the profession, concludes the Minister of Justice.