Morocco trial: El Joud says he regrets the murders
Abdesamad El Joud, the declared main man in the Imlil murder case, says in court that he regrets the brutal deed and that he is not sure whether he is still a supporter of the Islamic State (IS).
“When I was arrested, the police showed me the other side of the Islamic State. To be honest, I’m still confused. I don’t know if I’m still a supporter of IS. I used to love IS, but now I don’t know. All I know is that I regret that I killed the two tourists,” Abdesamad El Joud states during the hearing, writes VG.
Thursday’s trial against the 24 defendants, regarding the murder of Maren Ueland from Bryne in Rogaland and Danish Louisa Vesterager Jespersen, is over. The trial continues on June 13th, a number of media reports.
Maren Ueland (28) and Louisa Vesterager Jespersen (24) were killed near the village of Imlil in the Atlas Mountains in Morocco on December 17th.
A total of Four men, among them El Joud, are prosecuted for contributing to carrying out the actual murders. A Swiss-Spanish man is, furthermore, accused of training them. Additionally, 19 men have been charged with having committed themselves to a terrorist group. In a video, the four prime suspects swear allegiance to the Islamic State.
Brainwashed, with meagre education
The four prime suspects have all plead guilty.
Two of them performed the actual murders, while a third filmed it all. The fourth participated in the planning, but travelled to Marrakech the day before, allegedly to find a suitable hiding place.
The footage circulated on several websites in the days after the event.
When Norwegian TV2 met their defence lawyer, Hafida Maksouai before the trial, she described them as low educated and brainwashed men.
“They thought they were going to paradise. Not before they were arrested and had time to think, they understood that they have committed something terrible,” she informs.
The lawyer says that they often cry in front of her.
Maksaoui believes it is about 90 per cent likely that the four main defendants will be sentenced to death. If not, they will be sentenced for life, she believes.
A life sentence and death penalty are, in practical terms, amount to the same in Morroco, as no one has been executed in the country since 1993.
Wanted to join the Islamic State abroad
El Joud explains in court that several of the accused, including himself, for a long time wanted to travel abroad to join the Islamic State. This was, however, not possible, as they lacked both the funds and necessary travel documents. This, according to Norwegian TV2.
The accused supposedly decided to carry out attacks on targets in Morocco instead, aiming for military targets and shopping malls. They unsuccessfully attempted to acquire firearms several times. The group also tried to make a bomb – but failed in that as well.
The four allegedly decided to attack in the Imlil mountains a mere week before the brutal deed. The principal defendants travelled to Imlil only four days before the murders took place.
In court, El Joud explains that the group, on four occasions, looked at possible targets, but that they refrained from killing them. In other words, it was purely coincidental that it was Ueland and Vesterager Jespersen who ended up as the victims.
For further details, please read Another shot at Ueland trial in Morrocco.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today