Turkish court sentences nightclub shooting suspect to life in jail

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – A Turkish court sentenced to life imprisonment on Monday the main suspect in a gun attack at an Istanbul nightclub on New Year’s Day, 2017, in which 39 people were killed, Turkey’s state-owned Anadolu news agency reported.

Abdulkadir Masharipov, an Uzbek national, was handed the equivalent of 40 life sentences without parole, plus an additional 1,368 years in prison, Anadolu said.

Police detained Masharipov on Jan. 17, 2017, and said he had acted on behalf of Islamic State. The jihadist group claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was revenge for Turkish military involvement in Syria.

The Reina nightclub shooting was one of a string of attacks in Turkey believed to have been carried out by Islamic State.

Masharipov had previously repudiated statements to police in which he admitted guilt for the attack, and had disputed the evidence against him, saying he was not the person photographed holding an assault rifle in the club.

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