The appeal trial for 24 men prosecuted after the killing of two young Scandinavian tourists on behalf of the Islamic State group began in Morocco on Wednesday.
It comes six weeks after life sentences for the three accused who confessed to participating in the crime.
The first hearing at Salé Court of Appeal near Rabat, which specialises in terrorist cases, should be devoted to procedural issues, lawyers say.
A 24-year-old Danish student, Vesterager Jespersen and a 28-year-old Norwegian woman, Maren Ueland, were brutally killed at the end of 2018 at Mount Toubkal, the highest peak in North Africa, in the High Atlas, some 80 kilometres from Marrakech.
In addition to the three life sentences, sentences ranging from five years to life imprisonment were handed down on July 18 for the men who were tried for “forming a gang to commit terrorist acts”.
While the defendants “expect a more lenient verdict”, family of the Danish student, who have filed a civil suit, want confirmation of the convictions, according to the same judicial sources.