Death penalty for the murderers in Morocco

Ueland murder Morocco Death penaltyThe three street vendors Rachid Afati, Ouziad Younes and the executioner, Abdessamad El Joud. The troika is sentenced to death for the murders of Norwegian Maren Ueland and Danish Louisa Vesterager Jespersen. Photo: Moroccan police / AFP / Scanpix

Death penalty for the murderers in Morocco

The three principals behind the murders of Maren Ueland and Louisa Vesterager Jespersen in Morocco are sentenced to death.

The verdict fell in Salé in Morocco at around 4.30 pm on Thursday afternoon. A fourth perpetrator is sentenced to life in prison, according to NRK.

The three men who are sentenced to death are Abdessamed Ejjoud (25), Younes Ouaziyad (27) and Rachid Afatti (33). They participated in both the planning and implementation of the murders.

It was expected that the men could be sentenced to death. Morocco has, however, not executed anyone since 1993. It is thus expected that the penalty, in practical terms, will entail life in prison.

Maren Ueland (28) from Bryne and her Danish co-student Louisa Vesterager Jespersen (24) were murdered near Imlil in the Atlas Mountains in December last year. A total of 24 men are prosecuted in the trial after the murders. The trials have taken place in the Terrorist Court of Salé in Morocco.

Spanish-Swiss sentenced to 20 years in prison

The 19 other defendants were sentenced to prison for between 5 and 30 years, according to VG. These are, for the most part, accused of supporting a terrorist group. They have denied culpability and described the murders as barbaric.

Spanish-Swiss Kevin Zoller Guervos, who was charged with terrorist training, is sentenced to 20 years in prison for his role in the double murder. Guervos denied culpability in court.

None of the defendants were acquitted.

Press spokesperson of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (UD), Guri Solberg, informs that the Norwegian embassy in Rabat has been present as an observer during the court hearings. The ministry is, further, in regular contact with the Norwegian support lawyer of the Ueland family.

“We are aware that it has now been judged in the trial against the defendants who murdered a Norwegian and Danish citizen in Morocco in December 2018,” she writes in an email to NTB.


Will probably be appealed

The families of the two women have submitted compensation claims of NOK 1.4 and NOK 9 million, respectively, to the Moroccan authorities.

Neither of the families was granted redress from the Moroccan state. The defendants were, on the other hand, sentenced to pay compensation of NOK 2 million to the two families, according to NRK .

It is currently uncertain whether the convicted felons will appeal the verdict. The deadline is ten days. The Moroccan support lawyer of the Ueland family tells NTB that he is certain that the verdicts will be appealed. It will thus be handled by the Supreme Appeal Court in Rabat.

An appeal will, according to the lawyer, probably come up in October or November. If the case goes to the top of the judicial system, it will take a minimum of seven to eight months and perhaps over one year before a final decision is reached.

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