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New Year massacre gunman goes on trial in Istanbul

The trial opens this afternoon of an Uzbek citizen who confessed to killing 39 mainly foreign victims, including an Israeli, at an Istanbul nightclub in a New Year’s gun attack claimed by the Islamic State extremist group.

Abdulkadir Masharipov, 34 at the time of the attack, goes on trial at the Silivri prison complex outside the center of Istanbul along with 56 other suspects.

Masharipov, who was present in court for the first hearing, faces 40 life sentences, one for each of the victims and the massacre itself.

The others on trial include Masharipov’s wife Zarina Nurullayeva who is a suspected accomplice and faces similar penalties to her husband. All but six are being held in custody.

Masharipov was captured alive in a massive police operation and analysts say his evidence in confessions have helped Turkish authorities break up the elaborate network of jihadist cells in the city.

He is facing charges ranging from “attempting to destroy constitutional order,” “membership of an armed terrorist organization,” to “murdering more than one person.”

— with AFP

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