A Tunisian court has sentenced seven jihadists to life in prison over attacks at a museum and on a beach in 2015 that killed 60 people, many of them tourists, prosecutors said Saturday.
Dozens of defendants faced two separate trials over the closely linked shootings, which occurred just months apart in Tunis and Sousse, but many were acquitted.
Three were given life sentences for homicide over the first attack in March 2015 at the capital’s Bardo museum, in which two gunmen killed 21 foreign tourists and a Tunisian security guard.
Four received the same term for the shooting rampage at a Sousse tourist resort in June that year, which killed 38 people, mostly British tourists.
AFP/File / Kenzo TRIBOUILLARD
The shooting rampage at a Sousse tourist resort in June 2015 killed 38 people, mostly British tourists
Other defendants were sentenced to between six and 16 years, said prosecution spokesman Sofiene Sliti on Saturday.
Prosecutors said afterwards that they planned to launch appeals in both cases.
The court heard that the two attacks, both claimed by the Islamic State group (IS), were closely linked.
Several defendants pointed to the fugitive Chamseddine Sandi as mastermind of both.
According to Tunisian media, Sandi was killed in a US air strike in neighbouring Libya in February 2016, although there has been no confirmation.
– ‘Duty to IS’ –
Among those who were facing trial were six security personnel accused of failing to provide assistance to people in danger during the Sousse attack.
That shooting was carried out by Seifeddine Rezgui, who opened fire on a beach before rampaging into a high-end hotel, where he continued to fire a kalashnikov and throw grenades until being shot dead by police.