One of the "escapees" being taken to court. | Alejandro Sepúlveda


Most of the 22 Moroccans who have been in prison since the Air Arabia Maroc incident at Palma Son Sant Joan Airport in November 2021 have been released.

There was an emergency landing in Palma because of what proved to be a faked medical emergency. The 22 left the plane and ran off. The majority were caught and arrested in the hours after the incident. Others were arrested in Mallorca some weeks later. They have all been in preventive detention and had been charged with sedition. But Spain's repeal of this crime has brought about their release, which was requested by the Prosecutor's Office.

Upon their release on Tuesday, they were immediately detained at the gates to Palma prison. They appeared in court and a request was made for their internment in an immigrant camp on the mainland until a deportation order can be executed.

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The Provincial Court in Palma now has to authorise deportation, which hadn't previously been possible because of the sedition charge. It would appear that the internment request and deportation order aren't necessarily being acted upon immediately, and so they are at liberty, subject to conditions - weekly reporting to a court.

Those who haven't been freed face charges of a crime against foreign citizens. They include Jassine Jahouari, who was the one accused of faking a diabetic emergency that forced the plane to land in Palma. This crime, as with sedition, prevents deportation.

Two other defendants meanwhile face an eight-month prison sentences for having helped two of the people who left the plane; they had hidden in Inca.