The trial of the alleged killers of two young Scandinavian tourists, beheaded in the Atlas Mountains in Morocco on behalf of Daesh, was sent back to May 16, just after it opened Thursday in Salé, twin city of the capital Rabat. The accused face the death penalty.
This Thursday was to take place in Morocco the trial for the murder of two young Scandinavian tourists murdered in the Atlas last December. A total of 24 defendants, including the three alleged murderers, briefly appeared before the Criminal Division of the Salé Court of Appeal, for “apologizing for terrorism”, “attacking the lives of people with premeditation” or “terrorist gang constitution” “. But their lawyers asked for a hearing referral to get better acquainted with the file.
All smiles in front of the yard
The facts date back to the night of 16 to 17 December 2018. That evening, Louisa Vesterager Jespersen, a 24-year-old Danish student, and her friend Maren Ueland, a 28-year-old Norwegian, were killed, slaughtered and beheaded, on an isolated site of the High Atlas where they camped. Me Khalid Elfataoui, the lawyer of Louisa’s parents who have joined as a civil party, said that he intended to ask the death penalty for the killers “even if the countries of origin of the victims are in principle opposed to it”. In Morocco, convictions for the death penalty are still pronounced, but a de facto moratorium has been applied since 1993 and its abolition is under debate.
This Thursday, Abdessamad Ejjoud, presumed leader of the group already convicted for trying to join Daesh in Syria, appeared in front of the Criminal Chamber all smiles. In the forefront of the accused, he was dressed in the traditional Salafist clothes, beard and white kufi – a kind of cap – screwed on the head. At his side, also in the front row in the huge glass box, Younes Ouaziyad, 27, and Rachid Afatti, 33, both accused of having participated with him in the killing, and Abderrahim Khayali, 33, left with them in the mountains but returned to seek a hideout in Marrakech shortly before the act, according to the accusation.