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Marrakesh bomber death penalty confirmed

A Moroccan appeal court has upheld a death sentence against the organiser of the April 2011 Marrakesh bombing that killed 17 people, including three Swiss tourists.

The chief judge of the court confirmed the death sentence against Adil Al-Atmani on Friday, and converted the life term handed down to his chief accomplice Hakim Dah to a death sentence.

The court also increased the jail sentences against six of the other men convicted at the original trial in October from six to ten years and confirmed a two-year sentence against a ninth man.

The trial went ahead after the prosecutors appealed the original sentences.

The prosecutor had asked on Wednesday only for the life sentence against Dah to be confirmed. But he had wanted harsher sentences against the seven other people convicted.

The defendants denied many of the charges against them during the trial.

Moroccan, French and Swiss nationals were among those killed in Marrakesh and dozens more were wounded by a remote-controlled bomb set off at the Argana café, a well-known tourist haunt in the city.

Four tourists from canton Ticino, two men and two women, were in the café at the time. The two men – a Swiss and a Portuguese – died on the spot, while the two women were seriously injured. One of the women died in a Zurich hospital from her injuries after being repatriated.

The Marrakesh bombing was the deadliest in the North African kingdom since attacks in the coastal city of Casablanca in 2003 which left 33 people and 12 bombers dead.

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SWI swissinfo.ch - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR