Court rules to keep 44 suspects behind bars in ISIL nightclub attack case
ISTANBUL - Anadolu Agency
An Istanbul court on July 18 ruled for the continuation of the detention of 44 suspects in a case of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) attack on the Reina nightclub in Istanbul’s Ortaköy district in the early hours of Jan. 1, 2017 that killed 39 people.
A total of 58 suspects are tried in the case.
During the hearing people in the courtroom watched video footages from security cameras which showed the moments Uzbek jihadist Abdulkadir Masharipov carried out the attack and escaped from the scene.
In the courtroom, a lawyer of Lebanon’s consulate general in Istanbul said “this was a professionally executed attack and Masharipov was acting very calm.” Then he asked the suspect whether the U.S. or Israeli agents trained him. Masharipov was reminded that he has the right to remain silent.
“This is not a kind of answer I could give,” Masharipov responded.
The suspects and their lawyers demanded their release.
After assessing the demand, the panel of judges decided to keep the suspects in jail until the next hearing, scheduled for Nov. 19.
A total of 39 people were killed and 79 others were wounded, including foreign nationals, when Masharipov opened fire on the revelers at Reina.
He was captured on Jan. 16, 2017, 15 days after being on the run, in Istanbul’s Esenyurt district. At least 2,000 police officers took part in raids in 152 different addresses to capture the jihadist.
Masharipov faces 40 aggravated life sentences over “attempting to abolish the constitutional order,” “intentionally killing 39 people,” “intentionally attempting to kill 79 people,” “being a member of a terrorist organization,” and “buying and possessing arms,” in addition to up to 2,397 years in jail.
Reina was demolished on May 22, 2017.