Turkey court delays verdict on Istanbul bombing that killed Germans | News | DW | 20.11.2017
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Turkey court delays verdict on Istanbul bombing that killed Germans

A Turkish court has postponed the verdict in a terrorism trial stemming from a bomb blast that killed 12 German tourists in Istanbul. The suicide bomber who allegedly committed the attack was a Saudi-born Syrian refugee.

Judges in Istanbul on Monday postponed the verdict of atrial involving 26 people and their alleged links with the deadly Istanbul bombing at the city's Sultanahmet Square in January 2016. The judges scheduled the next hearing for January 8.

Prosecutors demanded life sentences for three of the accused who were allegedly involved in preparing the attack, while asking for a 15-year prison term for one other. The remaining detainee was released on Monday, in line with prosecutors' request. Another 21 are being tried in absentia.

Authorities had identified the suicide bomber as 28-year-old Syrian citizen Nabil Fadli. The attacker was born in Saudi Arabia, reportedly to a family with Turkmen background, but emigrated to Syria as a child. He had entered Turkey from Syria and requested asylum about a month before the attack.

Read more: Blast hits major tourist district Sultanahmet

Turkish police secure the area after an explosion in the central Istanbul Sultanahmet district

Turkish police secured the area after the deadly explosion in the central Istanbul Sultanahmet district

What happened in the attack?

  • According to the Turkish authorities, Fadli approached a group of German tourists at Istanbul's busy Sultanahmet Square, home to the iconic Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque.
  • He then detonated his explosive device, killing 12 Germans
  • Nearly all of the German victims were pensioners.
  • Over a dozen more people, most of them foreign visitors, were injured.

Read more: Turkish media reports that Istanbul bomber was registered as a refugee

German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said there was "no indication" that the attacker specifically targeted Germans.

Turkish officials blamed "Islamic State" (IS) militants for the attack, although the group itself did not take responsibility. Scores of suspects were detained in the wake of the attack, including three Russian citizens in Antalya on suspicions of links with IS.

dj/ls (dpa)

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