3 men sentenced to death for killing Scandinavian hikers in Morocco

Tourists' bodies found beheaded in Atlas Mountains

By Barbara Wojazer, Arnaud Siad and Sarah Dean, CNN
Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Morocco's Atlas Mountains

RABAT, Morocco (CNN) - Three men have been sentenced to death over the murder of two young Scandinavian women in Morocco, the lawyer for one of the victim's family confirmed Thursday.

Abdelsamad al-Joud, Younes Ouziad and Rashid Afati were convicted of murdering Norweigan national Maren Ueland, 28, and Danish national Louisa Jespersen, 24.

A fourth man, Abderrahmane Khayali, was sentenced to life in prison at the anti-terrorist court in Salé, near Morocco's capital Rabat.

The tourists' bodies were found beheaded in a remote area of Morocco's High Atlas mountain range in December. Both women had been spotted with three men in their hotel in Marrakesh before heading to the mountains to hike.

State-run Maghreb Arab Press (MAP) previously reported that the pair had been killed with a "melee weapon."

Both Moroccan and Danish authorities characterized the killings as a terrorist act, saying the men had claimed allegiance to Islamic State.

The convictions in Morocco come after Danish police launched its own prosecution in March against 14 people who allegedly shared a video showing the murder of Ueland and Jepersen.

The video, which authorities believe is authentic, showed the murder of one of the two young hikers.

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