Prosecutor demands 40 aggravated life sentences for Istanbul nightclub ISIL attacker
ISTANBULAn Istanbul prosecutor has demanded 40 aggravated life sentences and at least 1,555 years in jail for an Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant attacker who killed 39 people in an Istanbul nightclub on Jan. 1, Doğan News Agency has reported.
A 90-page indictment on Uzbek-origin Abdulkadir Masharipov, 34, who killed New Year’s Eve revelers at the Reina nightclub, was completed on May 9 and has been sent to the 27th Heavy Penal Court in Istanbul.
Masharipov is being charged 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 the 40 aggravated life sentences, the prosecutor also demanded up to 2,397 years in jail for the attacker.
Some 57 suspects, 56 of whom are arrested, were also included in the indictment prepared by the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office.
The case into the attack was filed with 121 complainants, including the nightclub’s manager Mehmet Koçarslan.
The indictment also included background information and the details of the aftermath of the attack.
Masharipov was captured on Jan. 16, 15 days after being on the run, in Istanbul’s Esenyurt district, along with four other people, including a man of Kyrgyz origin and three women.
At least 2,000 police officers took part in raids in 152 different addresses to capture Masharipov.
Meanwhile, 642 foreign-origin suspects were deported on grounds that they posed a national threat against public security.
Before his capture, 1,200 hours of surveillance camera footage were watched and 2,142 notices were evaluated, the indictment stated.
The indictment included Russian citizen Islam Atabiev, codenamed Abu Jihad al-Shishani and Abu Jihad al-Karachai, a senior ISIL militant who gave the order of the attack. Atabiev was also reportedly in charge of the jihadist group’s media leg.
Masharipov met another ISIL militant in Istanbul’s Başakşehir district on Dec. 26, 2016 and took 700 Turkish Liras from him to pay his rent and a memory card, which had the voice record of Atabiev’s attack order, according to the indictment.
It said Masharipov also recorded a farewell video before the attack on Dec. 27, 2016, in which he is seen advising his son to be a suicide attacker.
After the attack, a video of Masharipov pretending to take a selfie on Dec. 28, 2016 emerged. On Dec. 29, 2016, he received ammunition and guns to be used in the attack.
The indictment stated that the attack on Reina was not the initial target.
Masharipov said he initially went to Istanbul’s Taksim Square to stage an attack, but “there were too many precautions,” so he chose the Reina nightclub to attack.
He was reportedly also ordered to target daily Cumhuriyet’s headquarters in Istanbul’s Şişli district, but said he switched his target to the nightclub as the offices would be empty on New Year’s Eve.