Morocco sentences Swiss man to 10 years in jail for ‘terrorism’

The man was convicted at the court of first instance in Sale, near Rabat. (File photo/AFP)
Updated 12 April 2019
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Morocco sentences Swiss man to 10 years in jail for ‘terrorism’

RABAT: A Moroccan court has sentenced a Swiss citizen arrested in connection with the murder of two Scandinavian hikers to 10 years in prison on terrorism charges, his lawyer said Friday.
Kahlil Idriss said the man, identified only as Nicolas P., 33, was convicted Thursday in the city of Sale, near Rabat, in a case unrelated to the double murder.
A dual Swiss-Spanish citizen was among more than 20 people arrested after Danish student Louisa Vesterager Jespersen, 24, and 28-year-old Norwegian Maren Ueland were found beheaded on December 17 in the High Atlas mountains south of Marrakesh.
Nicolas P. was arrested in January for having had contact with the Swiss-Spanish national as well as compatriots with ties to Syria, Idriss said.
He was found guilty of “forming a terrorist group.”
The lawyer said he has filed an appeal on the basis that his client had signed a police report in Arabic without having read it.
The accused told the court he had been paid by Switzerland’s secret services for making contact with Swiss terror suspects.
Moroccan authorities allege the four main suspects in the hikers’ murders were sympathizers of Daesh but not in direct contact with Daesh members in Iraq or Syria.


Sudan’s army calls for unconditional talks with protesters

Updated 44 min 47 sec ago
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Sudan’s army calls for unconditional talks with protesters

  • Protest leaders have set conditions for a resumption of talks, including a withdrawal of the military and militias from cities
  • At least 128 people were killed across the country since security forces cleared the sit-in area outside the military’s headquarters

KHARTOUM: Sudan’s military council said talks on the transition of power should resume without preconditions, signaling a continued standoff with opposition leaders who launched nighttime demonstrations to push for civilian rule.
Protest leaders have set conditions for a resumption of talks, including a withdrawal of the military and militias from cities, the resumption of Internet service and an international investigation of the violent razing of their sit-in camp on June 3.
Transition talks collapsed over the military’s crackdown.
At least 128 people were killed across the country since security forces cleared the sit-in area outside the military’s headquarters. Authorities offer a lower death toll of 61, including three from security forces.
Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, head of the council, told health workers in Khartoum on Wednesday that the council did not have preconditions for returning to the negotiating table with the Forces for Declaration of Freedom and Change, which has represented protesters.
He said neither side should make up-front demands.
“I repeat our invitation to all political forces and the FDFC to come (for talks), and there is no need for preconditions,” he said. “We do not deny their role in the uprising and the popular revolution ..., but the solution should be satisfactory to all Sudanese factions.”
Protest leaders could not be reached immediately for comment.
On Saturday, the Sudanese Professionals’ Association said it would stick to its conditions for the resumption of talks.
Meanwhile, protest leaders launched nighttime protests this week.
Late Wednesday, about 300 protesters, mostly young people, marched in Khartoum’s western district of Abbasiya, waving Sudanese flags and calling for justice for those killed since the sit-in dispersal.
Protesters avoid daytime demonstrations for fear of being quashed by security forces heavily deployed in Khartoum.
The military council has rejected the idea of an international probe and said it had started its own investigation along with another one by prosecutors.
An Ethiopian initiative to resume talks apparently failed to make progress in the deadlock. A top general in the military council pushed back last week against a key demand from the protest leaders to have the majority in a transitional legislative body.
Burhan said that the country cannot remain without a government, more than three months after the military ousted autocratic President Omar Al-Bashir in April.
“We do not want that things (get) out of control,” Burhan said. “Another coup could be carried out because of the country’s impasse.”