Top suspect in Istanbul nightclub shooting denies charges

Posted at 8:12 AM, Feb 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-18 08:12:00-05

ISTANBUL (AP) — The main suspect on trial for the New Year's Eve attack that left 39 people dead in Istanbul has denied being the shooter.

Turkey's official Anadolu news agency said Abdulkadir Masharipov on Monday rejected all charges against him, including membership in a terror group and murder.

On Jan. 1, 2017, an assailant shot his way into Istanbul's Reina nightclub where hundreds were partying. The assailant escaped and the Islamic State group claimed responsibility. Masharipov was arrested 15 days later.

Speaking in a closed hearing, the Uzbek national said that even though he had admitted the attack in his police statements, he wasn't the man holding the AK-47 rifle.

Fifty-eight suspects, mostly foreigners, are on trial, of whom 39 are in custody.