Taha Fahssi, better known as ElGrande Toto, was sentenced to an eight-month suspended prison term by a Moroccan Court of First Instance in Casablanca on Wednesday for threatening a Belgian journalist, glamsquad reports.
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In addition to the prison term, he was ordered to pay 50,000 dirhams ($4,900) in damages.
In an online spat, the 26-year-old singer was accused of making threats, insults, and defamation against the journalist after making controversial comments about cannabis.
“We’ll meet in Belgium, and you won’t know what happened to you,” ElGrande Toto said in an Instagram comment.
Recall that in September 2022, the rapper sparked controversy by telling reporters after a concert, “I smoke hash. So what? It doesn’t mean I’m a bad role model.”
His comments sparked outrage in conservative Morocco, which, despite being the world’s largest producer, prohibits recreational use of the drug. He was also accused of ‘inciting drug use’ and defamation, and he publicly apologized to those who had been “offended,” according to AFP.
Toto’s lawyer, Abdelfattah Zahrach, said he was “partially satisfied” with the ruling but objected to the requirement to pay compensation.
“The rapper has not committed any criminal act against the plaintiff,” Zahrach said, adding that they would discuss whether to appeal.
ElGrande Toto, who has a large Arab fan base, is the region’s second-most streamed artist on Spotify, trailing only Egyptian rapper Wegz.