To crown an 11-week trial, three suspected jihadists have been sentenced to death for the grisly murder of two female Scandinavian hikers on holiday in Morocco, they themselves had filmed.
Suspected ringleader and underground imam Abdessamad Ejjoud and his two accomplices received the maximum penalty over the December killings of 24-year-old Danish tourist Louisa Vesterager Jespersen and her 28-year-old Norwegian partner Maren Ueland. A fourth man involved in the murders was sentenced by the Moroccan court to life in prison.
The prosecution described the three killers “bloodthirsty monsters”, the prosecution said, citing an autopsy report that found 23 injuries on Jespersen's body and seven on that of Ueland.
The beheadings were believed to have been inspired by extremist Islamic ideology and sworn allegiance to Daesh. A total of 19 others were sentenced to between five and 30 years in prison.
While Scandinavian nations have long abandoned capital punishment as inhumane, the jihadi murderers' death sentences were well-received.
“The most important thing in this case is that these men be held responsibile", Khalid El Fataoui, attorney for Jespersen’s family, told Norwegian broadcaster NRK. “They showed no regret and didn’t offer any apologies. We are glad the court ruled as it did, I am personally glad”.
A letter from the Danish victim's mother, Helle Petersen, read out in court, said: “The most just thing would be to give these beasts the death penalty they deserve”.
Maren Ueland's mother, Irene Ueland (49), referred to the double murder as “grotesque” and “madness”.
Likewise, petitions on social media have also called for their execution.
Despite having had a de facto freeze on executions since 1993, death penalty is still legal in Morocco.
The defence team cited “mitigating circumstances on account of their precarious social conditions and psychological disequilibrium”, as the culprits admittedly had a “very low” level of education and lived in low-income areas of Marrakesh.
28-year-old Maren Ueland of Norway and 24-year-old Louise Vesterager Jespersen of Denmark were slain while on a camping holiday in Morocco’s Atlas Mountains, a popular tourist attaction that is home to the highest peak in the entire Maghreb and the Arab world. The women were stalked and attacked in their tent on 17 December 2018.
Barely several months after the brutal killings, the UK newspaper The Independent, came under fire for praising Morocco as a safe tourist destination for women travelling solo.
*Daesh (ISIS/ISIL/IS/the Islamic state) is a terrorist organisation banned in Russia
The Independent are now so woke they actively try to get women killed. Good work! Are you working together with IS?— Swedish Sheepdog (@SweSheepdog) 6 марта 2019 г.
Also, how many young women deaths do you think your article will contribute to? Any projections?