Morocco jails 7 over deadly building collapse

Moroccan rescuers inspecting the rubble of a residential building that collapsed in the city of Casablanca, on July 11, 2014 (AFP Photo/)

Casablanca (Morocco) (AFP) - A Moroccan court jailed seven people on Monday over their role in the deaths of 23 residents killed last year when three apartment blocks collapsed in Casablanca.

They were sentenced to between two and five years in prison and fined for "involuntary homicide" and "breaching urban planning codes".

Three others were acquitted after the four-month trial, which prompted protests both from victims' families and the accused who charged that the "real culprits" were not in the dock.

In July 2014, 23 people died when the three buildings collapsed before dawn in Morocco's commercial capital, one of the worst disasters of its kind in the north African kingdom.

Those convicted include an architect and a state official, who both received two-year terms. The two sons of the building owner were given five and two years respectively.