MOROCCO REJECTS BOMB CASE APPEAL, UPS SENTENCE TO DEATH
March 9, 2012: A Moroccan court rejected appeals from two men convicted over the bombing of a cafe in Marrakesh that killed 17 people in April, and raised the life term imposed on one of them to the death penalty, state media reported.
The court sentenced to death Karim Dah, who was jailed in October for being an accomplice in the bomb attack, the deadliest in almost ten years in Morocco.
It also upheld a death penalty on Adel Othmani, convicted of planting the bombs, the official MAP news agency reported.
Othmani had denied the charges, which included making explosives and murder, and said he was a victim of a conspiracy.
He was accused of planting two bombs in a cafe in Jamaa el-Fna, Marrakesh's most popular tourist attraction. Dah, the prosecution said, had been aware of Othmani's plans and assisted him.
The interior ministry said Othmani showed loyalty to al Qaeda but local affiliates of the group have denied involvement.
It was the country's worst bomb attack since coordinated suicide bombings carried out by Islamist militants in the commercial capital, Casablanca, in 2003.
The death penalty is allowed under Morocco's penal code but it has not been carried out since 1992. (Sources: Reuters, 10/03/2012)