Prosecutor seeks aggravated life sentences for nine ISIL suspects in Gaziantep attack
GAZİANTEPA prosecutor has demanded aggravated life sentences for nine arrested Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) suspects out of 11 charged over the August 2016 suicide attack targeting a street wedding in the southern province of Gaziantep that killed 56 people, and another that killed three police officers two months later.
The Gaziantep 7th court of serious crimes accepted the 70-page indictment prepared by the Gaziantep Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office Anti-Terror Branch, which noted that the jihadist group conducted 18 separate attacks in Turkey, including the street wedding attack and the other during a police operation targeting the plotters of the attack.
The explosive used in the suicide attack that killed three police officers was handed to Muhammed Şerif by the Syrian-origin Abdurrahman el-Najhar, the indictment stated.
It also cited a crime scene report noting that a RDX derivative bomb inside a black suicide vest was used in the suicide attack in the street wedding, while the identity of the attacker in his 20s could not be determined.
The indictment sought between four and 60 aggravated life sentences for the arrested suspects - identified as Mehmet Şahin Erğan, Mehmet Çalıkuşu, Ahmet Köşgeroğlu, Ali Çalıkuşu, Fadile Cebael, Hacı Polat, Hasan Uzun, Mehmet Karakurt and Abdurrahman al-Naijar - on charges of “attempting to overthrow the constitutional order,” “voluntary manslaughter,” “holding dangerous material” and “being a member of armed terror organization.”
It also demanded prison terms of between 274 and 1,814 years for the suspects in the lawsuit filed against them.
A total of 56 people, including 40 children, were killed and another 87 were wounded when a suicide bomber blew himself up at a street wedding in the Şahinbey district on Aug. 20, 2016.
Only two months later, three police officers were killed and 13 people were wounded on Oct. 16, 2016 when an ISIL militant blew himself up during a police operation targeting the plotters of the wedding attack.