The trial of 15 suspects involved in the murder of two Scandinavian tourists has begun.
Rabat – According to a statement from the general prosecutor, the 15 members involved in the double murder of Danish tourist Louisa Vesterager Jespersen and Norwegian tourist Maren Ueland near Toubkal mount appeared before the investigating judge at Rabat’s Court of Appeal today at 9 a.m.
The public prosecutor called on the judge to investigate suspects for the terror acts they committed against the tourists, including the crimes of forming a gang to prepare acts of terror.
The prosecutor also asked the judge to place the suspects in custody.
The statement added that Morocco’s Central Bureau of Judicial Investigation (BCIJ) is now investigating the case. Seven more suspects will appear before the judge in the coming days.
BCIJ arrested 22 suspects involved in the crime.
BCIJ arrested the latest suspect, a Swiss national who also holds the Spanish citizenship, on Saturday in Marrakech.
According to BCIJ, the suspect was “radicalized” and has direct connections with the others suspects.
BCIJ said that the Swiss-Spanish man “trained the other suspects to use state-of-the-art communication technologies.” He also taught them how to use arms.
Authorities found the bodies of the victims on December 17 near Imlil in the Atlas Mountains.
Head of BCIJ Abdelhak Khiame confirmed that although four of the suspects pledged allegiance to ISIS on video, the crime was carried out independant from the terror group.
Khiame also said that the suspects did not fit the profiles of terrorists because they were living normal lives.
He confirmed that the victims were stabbed and decapitated.
The suspects, according to Khiame, were influenced by the self-styled “emir” of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Through the name given to him by his extremist supporters, al-Baghdadi is speculated to be styling himself after the first caliph of Muslims Abu Bakr.