Morocco prosecutors are looking to condemn three men accused of murdering two Scandinavian hikers in December to capital punishment. The prosecutors sought a maximum sentence for 25-year-old suspected ringleader Abdessamad Ejjoud and the two radicalised Moroccans.
The three primary suspects, Rachid Afatti, Younes Ouaziyad, and Abdessamad Ejjoud, previously confessed to the murders during a hearing in May, saying they were carried out in the name of Daesh*.
24-year-old Danish woman Louisa Vesterager Jespersen and her 28-year-old Norwegian friend Maren Ueland were found dead on 17 December in a mountainous area about an hour's drive from the city of Marrakesh. They were brutally murdered during a Christmas trip to Morocco, where they wanted to see Toubkal, North Africa's highest peak.
Fifteen Moroccan nationals were apprehended following the gruesome incident that was classified as a terrorist attack.
While the suspects pledged their allegiance to Daesh, the nation's intelligence services believe that the gang was not in contact with IS militants.
*Daesh (also known as ISIS/ISIL/Islamic State) is a terrorist group outlawed in Russia and many other countries.