Four receive life sentences over 2016 Istanbul suicide bombing

A Turkish court on Tuesday sentenced four men to life over a 2016 suicide bombing in Istanbul that claimed the lives of 12 German tourists, NTV network reported.

Suspects Atala El Hasan El Mayyuf, Fevzi Muhammed Ali, Halil Derviş and Ahmed El Hasan, who were already in jail, received aggravated life sentences on charges of "attempt to violently overthrow the constitutional order," it said. 

The other 18 suspects in the case were acquitted on the grounds of a lack of evidence, according to NTV.

The suicide bombing at Istanbul’s historic Sultanahmet Square in January 2016, near the city’s iconic Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia, also wounded 16 others. The Turkish government blamed the Islamic State (ISIS) for the attack, but the group has never claimed responsibility and the defendants have denied their involvement.

Another suspect was sentenced to over six years in jail for membership in a terrorist organization, it said, while the files of three other suspects, Rasheed Alabdalah Alagaan, Mohammed Beraa Taskeia and Luay Taskiah, have been separated from the case.

Tuesday’s sentences mark the end of a long running case. In 2018, an appeals court overturned a verdict against a total of 26 suspects.

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