Moroccan accused of spying held in Belgium: lawyer

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A Moroccan woman reportedly accused of spying for Morocco is being held in Belgium while a Brussels court determines her fate, her lawyer said Tuesday.

Julien Hardy told AFP the Belgian authorities withdrew his client's passport saying "she posed a national security threat", without specifying the charges.

The self-described businesswoman said in a letter that the Belgian authorities accused her of spying for the Moroccan government, the Belga news agency reported.

She was detained initially on May 29 at Charleroi airport in southern Belgium and the authorities cancelled her multiple-entry visa and took her passport.

The woman was then moved to a holding centre near Brussels airport.

Hardy said she was freed on July 9 when a court ruled her detention was illegal before she was held again on grounds she had not left the country.

But he said his client could not leave Belgian territory because the authorities did not return her passport.

The government told Belga that state security sought to hold her because "she was illegally present on the territory and she posed a national security threat".

The reasons for the accusation are "quite vague" and it is "possible that an act of vengeance may be involved," Hardy said.

"We expect a decision this week to release or deport her," he added.

© 2018 AFP

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