Extremists who murdered Scandinavian hikers sentenced to death by firing squad

Three extremists who beheaded two women in the Atlas mountains, Morocco, have been sentenced to death by firing squad. Louisa Vesterager Jespersen, 24, from Denmark, and Maren Ueland, 28, from Norway, were both found dead on December 17 last year.

They had pitched up in a ‘remote mountainous region’ 6.2 miles away from the village of Imlil, at the foot of Mount Toubkal, when they were killed in their tent.

Today ringleader Abdessamed Ejjoud, Younes Ouaziyad, 27, and Rachid Affati, 33, received the maximum penalty for their murders.

The group, who pledge allegiance to the Islamic State, previously admitted filming themselves killing the women before posting the footage online.

They were described by authorities as ‘lone wolves’ who did not coordinate the killings with the Islamic State.

Prosecutors had previously demanded the death penalty for the men, while social media petitions similarly called for their execution.

Helle Petersen, mother of Ms Jespersen, told the court in a letter: ‘The most just thing would be to give these beasts the death penalty they deserve.’

Today, prosecutors described Ejjoud, Ouaziyad and Affati as ‘bloodthirsty monsters’.

Khalid El Kerdoudi told the jury in his closing arguments: ‘We can’t be lenient toward these human beasts.’

The court heard that an autopsy report had found 23 injuries on Ms Jespersen’s body and seven on that of Ms Ueland.

Ejjoud, an underground imam, had confessed at a previous hearing to beheading one of the women with Ouaziyad, while Afatti videoed the attack.
They had also planned attacks on synagogues and churches, they said.

The defence team argued there were ‘mitigating circumstances on account of their precarious social conditions and psychological disequilibrium’.

The men were described as having a ‘very low’ level of education and had come from modest backgrounds, it was said. Morocco has had a freeze on executions since 1993.

Source: Metro

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