The Unfair and Cruel Story of Ahmed Tommouhi
Can you imagine waking up one day and seeing yourself behind bars for a crime you never committed? This unfair and cruel situation is what Ahmed Tommouhi, a Moroccan citizen, has lived, sentenced for a rape he never perpetrated. His great physical resemblance to the real rapist and a chain of judicial errors led Tommouhi to spend 15 years in prison. The acquittal sentence arrives now, at the age of 72, more than three decades after his terrible story began.
The Mistaken Identification
His story begins in 1991, when a sentence of the Audience of Barcelona sentenced him to prison for various rapes committed throughout that year. Tommouhi was arrested by chance in a Catalan pension where a sexual assault had taken place. The victim, who was 14 years old at the time, mistakenly pointed to the Moroccan in a recognition wheel. The judges took this test into account to consider him guilty, instead of condemning the real author of the aggression, Antonio García Carbonell, a gypsy man with whom Tommouhi had a great physical resemblance. An analysis of semen that excluded him from the sexual offenses of which he was accused was not taken into account.
32 Years of His Life Taken Away
When he entered prison, he was 40 years old, had a wife and four children, who still live in his native Nador. From then on, he began a long journey for this bricklayer, who was forced to spend the best years of his life behind bars. He did not want to apply for a pardon “because it is for the guilty,” he declared in his only interview, granted to El País. And he was not. “I was right. I always said it and now it is proven,” Tommouhi declares. “This judicial recognition does not make me happy, because nobody will give me back 32 years,” he laments.