Morocco: Death penalty upheld for hikers' killers
A Moroccan anti-terrorist court on Oct. 30 confirmed death sentences handed down to three men who beheaded two Scandinavian women tourists in December.
The court also sentenced 20 other men to prison terms ranging from 5 to 30 years.
The two women -- 24-year-old Danish student Louisa Vesterager Jespersen and 28-year-old Norwegian Maren Ueland -- were on a hiking trip in the High Atlas Mountains when they were murdered.
On July 18, the court ruled against the three men and ordered them and their accomplices to pay nearly $200,000 in compensation to Ueland's family. It
turned down a request from Jespersen's family for a larger amount in compensation from the Moroccan state.
Moroccan Prime Minister Saadeddine Othmani said that such attacks were a dagger in the back of Morocco and its people and that this action, which was incompatible with the country's culture and values, was condemned by all segments of the society.