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Saturday 21 October 2017

Turkey seeks 40 separate life terms for Istanbul nightclub attacker

Medics carry a wounded person at the scene after an attack at a popular nightclub in Istanbul (IHA via AP)
Medics carry a wounded person at the scene after an attack at a popular nightclub in Istanbul (IHA via AP)

Prosecutors in Istanbul are seeking 40 consecutive life sentences for the man who attacked a nightclub in Istanbul during New Year's celebrations, killing 39 people, Turkey's state-run news agency reported.

Uzbekistan citizen Abdulkadir Masharipov was captured in Istanbul after evading police for more than two weeks.

The Islamic State group had claimed responsibility for the mass shootings at the upscale Reina nightclub.

The Anadolu Agency said the Istanbul chief prosecutor's office demanded in a 90-page indictment that Masharipov receive life sentences for each of the 39 victims and for attempting to overturn Turkey's constitutional order.

Masharipov, 34, also faces separate charges of membership in a terror group, the attempted murder of 79 people wounded in the attack and other alleged crimes, Anadolu said.

The prosecutor's indictment also seeks sentences of varying lengths - ranging from life to a maximum 15 years in prison - for 52 alleged accomplices of Masharipov's, the private Dogan news agency reported.

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

A court in Istanbul needs to approve the indictment before a trial date may be set.

A lawyer appointed to represent Masharipov could not immediately be reached for comment.

Turkish media have quoted Masharipov as telling his interrogators that he had received orders to carry out a New Year's Eve attack in Istanbul from Raqqa, the de facto capital of the IS group in Syria.

AP

Press Association

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