AP NEWS

Morocco: Death penalty sought over Nordic hikers’ killings

June 27, 2019
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People stand outside a court during a trial for suspects charged with killing of two Scandinavian tourists in Morocco's Atlas Mountains in Sale, near Rabat, Morocco, Thursday, June 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Mosa'ab Elshamy)
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People stand outside a court during a trial for suspects charged with killing of two Scandinavian tourists in Morocco's Atlas Mountains in Sale, near Rabat, Morocco, Thursday, June 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Mosa'ab Elshamy)

SALE, Morocco (AP) — A Moroccan prosecutor is seeking death sentences for three men accused of killing two European women hikers in what authorities describe as a terrorist attack in the scenic Atlas Mountains region.

In closing arguments Thursday, prosecutor Khalid El Kerdoudi told the jury: “We can’t be lenient toward these human beasts.”

The suspects confessed to killing 24-year-old Louisa Vesterager Jespersen of Denmark and 28-year-old Maren Ueland of Norway in December.

The men, who claimed allegiance to the Islamic State group, recorded the slayings and posted the video online.

They said they also planned attacks on synagogues and churches.

Also on trial are 21 people accused of providing the men funding or training. They face prison sentences ranging from 10 years to life, if convicted.

Lawyers for the women’s families are seeking damages from the Moroccan state.