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Morocco: Most Suspects in Murder of Tourists Deny Charges

Morocco: Most Suspects in Murder of Tourists Deny Charges

Friday, 11 October, 2019 - 08:45
FILE PHOTO: Flowers and candles in memory of Louisa Vesterager Jespersen and Maren Ueland, who were killed in Morocco during a trekking trip, are seen at the Town Hall Square in Copenhagen, Denmark December 28, 2018. Ritzau Scanpix/Thomas Sjoerup/via REUTERS

Most suspects in the beheadings of two young Scandinavian women on a hiking trip in Morocco's High Atlas mountains last December have denied the charges against them during a hearing at the court in Sale, near Rabat.


In the fifth appeal hearing, the court set October 23 as a date for the defense team to present their arguments.


The jury accused the 20 suspects of plotting a terrorist attack in the Kingdom to target tourists and security forces and some tourism sites.


They also accused them of failing to report a crime and praising terrorism and the murder of the tourists, charges that they have denied.


Earlier, the court heard the testimonies of all three main suspects.


Alleged ringleader Abdessamad Ejjoud showed no remorse, saying the killing was a “vengeful act against those responsible for the murder of millions of Muslims.”


Rachid Afatti admitted to all the charges against him. The third main suspect is Younes Ouaziyad.


Danish student Louisa Vesterager Jespersen, 24, and her hiking companion, 28-year-old Norwegian Maren Ueland, who were nature lovers training to be guides, were on a holiday hiking trip when they were killed.


In July, the three main suspects were sentenced to death over the murders.


The other defendants were handed jail terms ranging from five years to life.


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