Eight life sentences for New York bike path terrorist
A man who drove a truck into pedestrians in New York in 2017, killing eight people including a Belgian woman, has been given eight life sentences.
Islamic extremist Sayfullo Saipov, a 35-year-old Uzbek, spoke for almost an hour before sentencing on Wednesday, US media reported. Via a translator, he talked about the history of Islam to justify his crimes, with no indication of remorse. CNN reports that the sister of Ann-Laure Decadt, the Belgian killed in the attack, cried out: “The only act of the devil here is the act you did!”
Saipov had been found guilty in January but the jury was not unanimous on the death penalty. As a result, he was automatically sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. His exact sentence is now known: life for each of the eight victims as well as a consecutive term of 260 years and two additional concurrent life sentences.
Saipov drove a rented truck into pedestrians and cyclists on a bike path on 31 October 2017, killing eight people and seriously injuring a dozen. It was the deadliest attack in New York since 9/11.
Among those killed was 31-year-old Ann-Laure Decadt from the West Flanders town of Staden. She had been in New York on a city trip with her mother and two sisters. Another three Belgians, a mother, father and son, were injured.
The scene of the attack in 2017 © ANGELA WEISS / AFP