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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Two Dutch people sentenced to death in Morocco

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The court of Marrakech sentenced two Dutch people to death on Thursday for a mistaken murder that took place in a café in the city at the end of 2017. The two perpetrators, Shardyone S. (31) and Edwin RM (27), were ordered to kill an arch-enemy of Ridouan Taghi. However, they targeted the wrong person and accidentally shot and killed the son of a high Moroccan judge.

The two Dutchmen had been hired and traveled to Marrakech to kill the Moroccan Dutchman Mustapha el F, also known as Moes. However, the intended victim, who was sitting on the terrace of café La Crème, changed chairs shortly before the attack. Because of this he managed to escape death, but another man, namely the son of a high judge, had to pay for it.

In addition to the two Dutchmen mentioned earlier, a number of other Moroccans with a Dutch passport have also been sentenced to prison terms ranging from six to twenty years. For example, several Taghi family members have been convicted of involvement in the mistaken murder. A nephew of Taghi has been sentenced to six years in prison and two brothers of the top criminal also have to serve their sentences for a number of years in prison.

Because of their striking rasta hairstyles, Shardyone S. and Edwin RM were already being watched by the Moroccan security service upon entering the country. They were arrested shortly after the attack. Although the two perpetrators initially denied everything, they later decided to provide information about the attack to the police. For example, Edwin RM stated that Taghi is behind the attack, but that he was also involved in the death of a younger brother of his. Both perpetrators indicated that they hoped for a lighter sentence from Taghi by participating in the mistaken murder.

Despite the fact that the two Dutchmen decided to cooperate with the investigation, the Moroccan court ruled harshly. With the death penalty, the two perpetrators can no longer rely on a treaty that makes it possible to serve the sentence in the Netherlands, with a life sentence this option would have been available. The two men have now lodged an appeal in cassation, but it is rare that a death sentence once handed down is reviewed by the court.

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