In addition to affirming the death sentence for the ringleader, Adel al-Othmani, the court on Friday (March 9) increased the life sentence for his co-conspirator, Hakim Dah, to the death penalty as well.
Additionally, six other defendants convicted of playing a role in the bombing had their prison sentences of two to four years increased to 10 years. Only one defendant, Abdel-Fattah Dehaj, kept his two-year sentence.
Mohammed Najimi, who had originally been given a two-year suspended sentence for providing evidence for the prosecution against al-Othmani also had his sentence increased to 10 years.
COMMENT: The April 28 bombing angered normally peaceful Morocco, a loyal US ally in the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) that drew nearly 10 million tourists last year to its sandy beaches, desert and mountain landscapes, and historic sites.
Tragically, the blast killed eight French tourists in addition to British, Swiss, Moroccan and Portuguese victims in the popular Argana Cafe, overlooking the main square of historic Marrakesh.
Al-Othmani was convicted in October of dressing like a tourist and planting the bomb in the cafe before detonating it with his mobile phone.
It should be noted that many of the French families who lost loved ones in the attack protested over light sentences the defendants received during the lower court trial, which is why the appellate court enhanced the sentences for the defendants.