2 journalists charged in Moroccan king blackmail claim trap


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PARIS (AP) — Two French journalists facing extortion charges on accusations that they tried to blackmail Moroccan King Mohammed VI say they were trapped into the agreement.

Eric Laurent and Catherine Graciet are accused of demanding 3 million euros ($3.4 million) in exchange for not publishing a compromising new book about Mohammed VI. They were arrested Thursday in a sting operation.

The two are known for their critical writings about the king. The case has drawn widespread attention in Morocco, where the monarchy is considered above criticism.

In an interview Monday with Le Parisien newspaper, Graciet says she allowed herself to be tempted. Laurent told RTL radio it was a personal transaction, not blackmail. He said he was ensnared by an offer from the monarchy.

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