Sunday, October 30, 2011

Update: Prosecutors to Appeal Mild Sentences for Some Marrakech Bombing Defendants

As a follow-up to my earlier posting on this subject, Moroccan prosecutors will appeal a court's decision in Sale [Morocco] on Friday (October 28) to sentence seven defendants convicted in the participation April bombing in Marrakesh to less than five years in prison. Although the anti-terrorism court did sentence Adil al-Atmani to death for orchestrating the bombing of a well-known cafe that killed 17 and wounded dozens more and gave his top accomplice Hakim Dah life in prison.

COMMENT: Yet, the seven other defendants charged in the same trial received only two to four years in prison, which is tantamount to a slap on the hand, given how provoked victims' relatives became after the light sentences were announced by the court. All nine defendants have ten days to appeal the court's ruling.

The Marrakesh bombing was the deadliest terrorist attack in the North African kingdom since fourteen suicide bombers simultaneously detonated their explosive belts in a number of Casablanca businesses in 2003 which killed 33 people and 12 suicide bombers. Unfortunately, the nine terrorists who were tried for the attacks later escaped from prison thanks to the assistance of al-Qaeda sympathizers amongst the guards.

It should be noted that Morocco has been one of the West's staunchest supporters of the counter-terrorism effort worldwide and traditionally has been very tough on terrorists who have been brought to trial.

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