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Four defendants given life sentences in Beşiktaş terrorist attack trial

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A high criminal court in İstanbul on Friday handed down 47 consecutive aggravated life sentences and a prison sentence of 4,890 years to four defendants due to their role in twin terrorist attacks in İstanbul in 2016 that claimed the lives of 47 people.

Forty of the 47 fatalities were police officers.

The Kurdistan Freedom Hawks (TAK), an offshoot of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), claimed responsibility.

The explosions, triggered by a car bomb and a suicide bomber less than one minute apart, struck outside the Beşiktaş football team’s stadium some two hours after a match had finished on Dec. 10, 2016.

Two hundred forty-two others were injured in the attacks.

There were 27 defendants in the trial, 24 of whom were jailed, including the masterminds of the attacks.

 The trial was heard by the İstanbul 29th High Criminal Court.

The four defendants were given the heavy sentences on charges of attempting to destroy the unity and integrity of the state and the premeditated murder of 47 people through bombing along with other charges concerning damaging public property and attempting to kill 242 people.

Ten other defendants in the trial were given aggravated life sentences on charges of attempting to destroy the unity and integrity of the state. The dossiers of the remaining defendants in the trial were separated as the court decided to expand the investigation into them.

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