Wednesday, March 29, 2023

An Uzbek who killed five Argentines in New York was sentenced to life in prison

The jihadist Sayfullo Saipov ran and killed eight hundred people in 2017, including a group of friends who traveled to Rosario.

Sayfullo Saipov, a man originally from Uzbekistan accused of murdering the Rosario group, who rode a bicycle in New York and others in 2017, was sentenced to life in prison this Monday because the jury did not agree to apply the death penalty.

Saipov, 35, was convicted of the killing in January and the jury heard emotional testimony from relatives of the victims and survivors in United States District Court in Manhattan.

The case shocked the world, and especially Argentina, when Saipov killed a group of Rosarios who traveled to the United States to celebrate their thirtieth anniversary at the school and killed five of them while riding bicycles through lower Manhattan. Didacus Angelini, Ariel Erlij, Hernán Ferruchi, Alejandro Pagnicco and Hernán Mendoza died. The circle became the number of ten friends.

In addition, the Uzbeks killed two Americans and a Belgian tourist.

After the men ran over with the hired truck at more than 100 km per hour, Saipov continued his attack and crashed into the school with his car, causing serious injuries to a boy and a woman.

Saipov was arrested after being shot by a New York police officer.

He was facing twenty-eight charges: crimes, attempts, murders, attacks and material support for a foreign organization, with the intention, according to the statement of the prosecution, which the defense rejects, of joining ISIS, jihadists. His group was accused of rebel activities and terrorism.

A large amount of material was seized from the Uzbeks to prove that since 2014 they were following ISIS and, through an encrypted message, to receive material from that organization, many attacks were connected. Two years later he began to prepare for the attack.

The 12-member jury said Monday afternoon that it could not reach a unanimous decision, indicating that a death penalty decision was not possible because unanimous decisions required at least one death-eligible crime. That made life the default of both.

Jurors deliberated in the federal government’s case in favor of Saipov’s death, which included prosecutors saying he was part of the extremist group ISIS, planned the attack and showed no remorse after the Oct. 31, 2017, killings.

Defense attorneys said Saipov’s sentence to life in federal prison was appropriate and sufficient to protect the company.

“There is no need to kill [a Saipov]. “Not for our safety or anyone else’s and not for justice,” attorney David Patton said in his closing statement last week.

The case marked the first federal conviction of the Biden administration that could result in execution. Authorities said it was the worst terrorist act in New York City since 2001 in September.

Under the Biden administration, the Justice Department has withdrawn more than two dozen death penalty applications under the president’s policy against the death penalty. In seven pending cases, including Saipov’s, the government honored the death penalty objections that were filed before the Biden magistrate.

Assistant US Attorney Amanda Houle said in her closing statement the “excruciating pain” suffered by the families who were victims of the attack.

“There can be no justice in this case without a close look at the anguish of defending these families,” Houle said.

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Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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