Trial for Istanbul nightclub attack suspects due in December

Dhaka,  Tue,  22 August 2017
Published : 17 May 2017, 19:06:07
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Trial for Istanbul nightclub attack suspects due in December

A Turkish court has accepted an indictment into 57 suspects allegedly involved in the deadly New Year's nightclub attack in Istanbul, Turkey's official news agency reported Wednesday. The first hearing is to take place in December, reports AP.

Anadolu news agency said the main suspect, Abdulkadir Masharipov, an Uzbek citizen who was caught two weeks after the attack, could face 40 consecutive life sentences if convicted on charges of attempting to overthrow Turkey's constitutional order and killing 39 people.

Turkish media have reported that Masharipov confessed to the shooting and told his interrogators that he had received orders from Raqqa, the de facto capital of the Islamic State group in Syria.

Masharipov also faces charges of membership in a terror group, attempted murder of 79 injured and violating Turkey's firearms law. These charges can carry a maximum total of 2,397 years in prison.

The 90-page indictment charges four other suspects allegedly involved in the planning of the attack, including Masharipov's wife, with the same crimes except the firearms violation.

It is not unusual for Turkish prosecutors to demand multiple life sentences in cases of lethal violence.

The other 52 suspects will be tried on charges of attempting to overthrow the constitutional order, carrying a sentence of life in prison, and membership in a terror group, with a sentence of 7.5 to 15 years.

Anadolu said the first hearing will take place on Dec. 11 in the courthouse of high-security Silivri prison and continue until Dec. 15.

Fifty-one of the 57 suspects are behind bars pending trial.

IS claimed responsibility for the shooting in the upscale Reina nightclub.
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