Trial begins for al Qaeda suspect in 2003 Istanbul bombing Krystal MacIntyre at 1:23 PM ET
[JURIST] Trial proceedings began Monday in Turkey for Syrian al Qaeda militant Loa'i Mohammad Haj Bakr al-Saqa [BBC report], who is charged with masterminding and securing finances for the November 2003 bombings in Istanbul [BBC report]. Security forces say that al-Saqa was a bomb making expert and a top figure in Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network in Turkey. He was apprehended in the city of Diyanbakir this past August as he attempted to board a plane for Istanbul under a false identity.
Dozens of security forces were present at the Monday hearing, and the judge hearing the case ordered al-Saqa to leave the courtroom [AP report] for contempt of court after he refused to stand to address the court. Al-Saqa's lawyer, Osman Karahan, has also been charged with aiding and abetting al Qaeda, and the court has banned Karahan from representing al-Saqa. This is one of more than seventy trials [JURIST report] that have taken place in connection with the bombings. Reuters has more.
Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible, ad-free format.