September 8, 2020 Faith Matters

Turkey gives IS militant 40 life sentences for 2017 nightclub attack

A Turkish court on Monday sentenced a suspected member of so-called Islamic State to life in prison for the New Year’s Eve attack on a nightclub in Istanbul in 2017 that left 39 people dead.

Abdulkadir Masharipov, of Uzbekistan, was convicted of 39 counts of murder and one count of attempting to overthrow the constitutional order.

He was given 40 separate life sentences without parole. The court also sentenced him to a total of 1,368 years for the attempted murder of 79 people who escaped the attack with injuries.

Early on January 1, 2017, a gunman shot his way into Istanbul’s Reina nightclub where hundreds were partying to celebrate the New Year.

The gunman escaped from the scene and Islamic State later claimed responsibility.

Several revellers jumped into the waters of the Bosphorus to escape the attack. Most of the dead were foreigners.

Police arrested Masharipov in a raid 15 days after the attack.

Masharipov initially admitted that he had carried out the attack but later denied the charges against him, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

In his final words of defence on Monday, Masharipov asked that he be acquitted, saying his initial testimonies were taken under “torture and pressure”. He insisted there was insufficient evidence against him, Anadolu said.

He is expected to appeal against his conviction.