The lawyer for a Moroccan man accused of criticising the country’s king on social media has told journalists his client has been sentenced to five years in prison.

Said Boukioud was charged with “undermining the monarchy” for comments he posted on Facebook in 2020 criticising Morocco’s normalisation of ties with Israel.

He was living in Qatar at the time.

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The Moroccan constitution stipulates that foreign affairs are the responsibility of King Mohammed VI and any comments that appear to question his authority are severely penalised.

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Mr Boukioud’s lawyer, El Hassan Essouni, described the sentence as “harsh and incomprehensible” and said his client would appeal.