World: Suspects back in Morocco court over Scandinavian hiker murders - PressFrom - US
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WorldSuspects back in Morocco court over Scandinavian hiker murders

20:47  16 may  2019
20:47  16 may  2019 Source:   msn.com

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MARRAKESH (AFP) — Moroccan authorities said three fugitive suspects were arrested on Thursday over the grisly murder of two Scandinavian NTB Scanpix/AFP / HO This undated handout picture shows 28-year-old Maren Ueland from Norway, one of two women hikers murdered in Morocco .

Twenty-four people have gone on trial in Morocco over the killing of two Scandinavian tourists in December. Other defendants are said to be facing trial over alleged links to the suspects . A dual Swiss-Spanish national, Kevin Zoller Guervos, was reported to be among those due to appear in court .

Suspects back in Morocco court over Scandinavian hiker murders© - Suspects, charged in connection with the murder of two Scandinavian hikers, arrive for their trial at a Moroccan court Suspects back in Morocco court over Scandinavian hiker murders© FADEL SENNA Mountains near the tourist village of Imlil in the High Atlas range, where the two Scandinavian hikers were murdered in December last year

Two dozen jihadist suspects charged over the brutal murder of two Scandinavian women hiking in Morocco appeared in court Thursday with the main accused facing possible death sentences.

Danish student Louisa Vesterager Jespersen, 24, and 28-year-old Norwegian Maren Ueland had their throats slit while camping in an isolated area of the High Atlas mountains in December.

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Suspects , charged in connection with the murder of two Scandinavian hikers , arrive for their trial at a Moroccan court Suspects , charged in connection with the A de facto suspension on executions has been in place in Morocco since 1993. A second Swiss citizen arrested after the double- murder was

Twenty-four people have gone on trial in Morocco over the killing of two Scandinavian tourists in December. The bodies were found in an isolated area near a popular tourist spot in Morocco 's High Atlas mountains on 17 December. Morocco murders : Tourist killings suspects ' backed IS'.

The main suspects, who allegedly pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (IS) group, are all from the Marrakesh region near the site of the killings, which shocked the North African country.

Abdessamad Ejjoud, a 25-year-old street vendor, is the alleged leader of the group. He had been jailed for trying to join IS in Syria but was released in 2015.

Younes Ouaziyad, a 27-year-old carpenter, and 33-year-old street vendor Rachid Afatti have also been named as key suspects.

The defendants were taken from prison to an anti-terrorism court in Sale, near Rabat, in vans escorted by police on motorcycles for the resumption of their trial, an AFP reporter said.

They face charges including promoting terrorism, forming a terrorist cell and premeditated murder.

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Salé ( Morocco ) (AFP) - A Moroccan court adjourned on Thursday for two weeks the trial of two dozen suspects charged in connection with the murder of two Scandinavian hikers minutes after it opened. Danish student Louisa Vesterager Jespersen, 24

Nine more people have been arrested in Morocco over links to the four initial suspects in the murder of two Scandinavian university students in a remote corner of the Atlas mountains, authorities said. A total of 13 men have been detained after the murder of the female hikers from Denmark and Norway.

The families of the accused did not attend the court session.

The main suspects "spontaneously admitted their crime during the investigation, and today they regret what they did," their lawyer Hafida Mekessaoui told AFP.

An opening hearing was held on May 2 but immediately postponed for two weeks after defence lawyers requested more time to prepare their case.

A Spanish-Swiss convert to Islam is among the suspects on trial, accused of teaching the main accused how to use encrypted communications and how to fire a gun.

Nature lovers Jespersen and Ueland shared an apartment and went to Norway's Bo University where they were studying to be guides.

They had travelled together to Morocco for their Christmas holidays.

Their lives were cut short in the foothills of Toubkal, the highest summit in North Africa, some 80 kilometres (50 miles) from the city of Marrakesh, a tourist magnet.

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Two dozen suspects have gone on trial in Morocco over the murder of two young Scandinavian hikers late last year that shocked the north African country. Court officials said the opening session of the case was immediately adjourned until 16 May to give the defence more time to prepare.

A Swiss man living in Morocco has been arrested in Marrakesh, for alleged links to suspects in the recent murder of two female Scandinavian hikers , authorities have said. The man is " suspected of teaching some of those arrested in this case about communication tools involving new technology and

- 'Enemies of Allah' -

According to the charge sheet, the assailants travelled to the High Atlas mountains on December 12 on a mission to kill tourists.

Several potential targets were passed over because the foreigners were accompanied by guides or local residents.

It was four days before they selected their targets. Two of them carried out the killings while the third filmed them on a telephone, according to the prosecution.

After the bodies were discovered, the Moroccan authorities were initially cautious, referring to a "criminal act" and wounds to the victims' necks.

But that all changed when the video surfaced showing a victim being beheaded, while one of the killers refers to "enemies of Allah" says the attacks were in revenge for the killings of jihadists in Syria.

A separate video in the initial aftermath of the murders showed the alleged killers pledging allegiance to IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Investigators said the "cell" was inspired by IS ideology, but Morocco's anti-terror chief insisted the accused had no contact with the jihadist group in conflict zones.

IS has never claimed responsibility for the double-murder.

Police quickly arrested a first suspect in the suburbs of Marrakesh, and three others were caught a few days later when they tried to leave the city by bus.

The suspects had recently embraced Salafism, an ultra-conservative branch of Sunni Islam, according to friends, neighbours and some family members.

A lawyer for one of the victim's families told AFP he would seek the death penalty for the murders.

A de facto suspension on executions has been in place in Morocco since 1993.

A second Swiss citizen arrested after the double-murder was tried separately and jailed in mid-April for 10 years on charges including "forming a terrorist group".

The main trial is expected to run for months before it reaches a verdict.

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