UPDATE 1-Moroccan court upholds editor Nini's sentence

Mon Oct 24, 2011 8:37pm GMT

* Appeal court upholds editor's 12-month jail sentence

* A household name, Nini was charged for his writings

* Lawyer: Verdict shows unspoken red lines remain for press (Adds lawyer's comments)

RABAT, Oct 24 (Reuters) - A Moroccan appeal court on Monday upheld a newspaper editor's one-year jail sentence for criticising the security service's counter-terrorism campaign and what he said were unfair trials of Islamists.

Rachid Nini, who partly owns the Almassae newspaper, was sentenced in June for crimes that included "discrediting a court, trying to influence the judiciary and publishing information about untrue criminal offences".

The court repeatedly denied him bail after his arrest on April 28.

The official MAP news agency said the Casablanca appeal court upheld the June ruling, which also includes a small fine.

Nini, 40, has become a household name in a country where newspaper sales are among the lowest in the region by writing about alleged widespread corruption in government circles.

Communication Minister Khalid Naciri, whose department supervises and regulates media affairs, declined to comment. "I can't comment a judiciary ruling," he said.   Continued...

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