Spanish pedophile freed in Moroccan royal pardon mistake

Daniel Galván Viña was convicted two years ago of sexually abusing 11 children aged between three and 15 and handed a 30-year-sentence.

King Mohammed VI of Morocco's decision to issue a royal pardon to hundreds of prisoners has placed a notorious pedophile back on the streets.

The Moroccan monarch issued full or partial pardons to 1,044 prisoners as part of festivities to mark the Feast of the Throne on Tuesday, among them 48 Spaniards whose release had been petitioned by King Juan Carlos and brokered by the CNI intelligence agency with its Moroccan counterpart, the DGED. The majority had been sentenced for drug trafficking but the name of Daniel Galván Viña somehow found its way on to the list.

Galván, 64, was convicted two years ago of sexually abusing 11 children aged between three and 15 and handed a 30-year-sentence. The case generated such interest that a 50-minute television report received a prime-time airing.

NGOs and opposition parties are staging nightly protests outside the parliament building in Rabat. It is unclear how Galván was included and the CNI denies requesting his release. In a meeting between the monarchs in July King Juan Carlos only named one prisoner, Antonio García Vidriel, and asked that he be allowed to complete his sentence in Spain.

The list of 48 inmates was drawn up by Morocco's Justice Ministry and prison authorities. Under consideration were their ages, the length of time they had served and their behavior. Galván is reported to have crossed into the Spanish exclave of Ceuta.

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