Man jailed 1,000 yrs for Istanbul attack

A Turkish court has sentenced a man to life in prison for carrying out a gun attack on an Istanbul nightclub that left 39 people dead.

Abdulkadir Masharipov, a citizen of Uzbekistan, was handed the equivalent of 40 life sentences on Monday.

It follows a three-year trial over the shooting, which happened at the exclusive Reina nightclub just minutes into New Year’s Day in 2017.

The Islamic State group (IS) said it was responsible for the attack.

Masharipov was sentenced for “deliberate murder” and “violating the constitution”, Turkey’s Anadolu news agency said. He will not be eligible for parole.

He also received an additional 1,368-year sentence for the attempted murder of 79 people who were injured in the attack and for carrying a weapon without a licence.

Another man, Ilyas Mamasaripov, was sentenced to more than 1,400 years in prison for helping plan the shooting.

Forty-eight defendants were sentenced to jail for being members of a terrorist organisation, local media reported, and 11 others were acquitted.

At about 01:30 local time (22:30 GMT), as revelers marked the new year, a gunman opened fire at the Reina nightclub in the north of the city.

Masharipov had arrived at the club by taxi, before rushing through the entrance with an automatic rifle he had taken from the boot of the car.

Surveillance footage showed bullets ricocheting off parked cars as he opened fire and entered the club.

Masharipov fired randomly and threw stun grenades to allow himself to reload. He shot injured people on the ground before fleeing the scene.

Citizens of Israel, France, Tunisia, Lebanon, India, Belgium, Jordan and Saudi Arabia were among the victims, and dozens of people were injured.

The Uzbek national was eventually detained on January 17, 2017 after a lengthy manhunt.

Police in Turkey have carried out numerous raids against IS in recent times. In July, 27 people suspected of planning an attack in Istanbul were detained in the city.

And last week, the government said the top IS commander in the country had been detained. -BBC

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