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Saturday 27 July 2019

Court in Morocco sentences two Dutch citizens to death over the accidental killing of a medical student in 2017

A Moroccan court has sentenced to death two Dutch citizens over the accidental killing of a medical student in 2017.

Two years ago Edwin Gabriel Robles Martinez and Shardyone Girigorio Semerel allegedly opened fire on a cafe in the tourist hub of Marrakech. They had apparently been aiming at the cafe’s owner, but instead killed the student and wounded two other people, local media reported.

At the time local officials said the shooting was a “settling of accounts” that was “directly linked to a criminal network which has ramifications in some European countries”. On Friday a court sentenced to jail 15 other suspects in the same case, handing them terms ranging between three and 20 years for setting up a “criminal gang”, lawyer Abdellatif Htitech told AFP.

A spokeswoman for the foreign ministry in the Netherlands told AFP that the Dutch embassy “is in direct contact with the lawyer”, without giving further details. Asked if the Netherlands would intervene, Annemijn van den Broek said it was up to those convicted to decide whether or not to appeal. But she added that the Netherlands is opposed to the death penalty.

Morocco which last issued a death sentence earlier this month against three Islamic State group supporters over the beheadings of two Scandinavian women tourists has had a de facto freeze on executions since 1993.

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