Seven Jailed For Life Over Tunisia Attacks

10 February 2019, 06:56 | Updated: 10 February 2019, 07:01


Seven people have been jailed for life following a trial over two 2015 terror attacks in Tunisia which killed 60 people, including 2 couples from Scotland.

Samir Ben Amor, a lawyer for one of the 44 defendants, said the verdicts were handed down over a massacre at the popular Sousse resort and another deadly attack on the country's famous Bardo Museum.

Lisa and Billy Graham from Perth and Jim And Ann McQuire from Cumbernauld were killed in the mass shooting in Sousse which left 38 people dead, while another UK citizen died in the Bardo assault, which killed 22 in total.

Other defendants received jail terms ranging from 16 years to six months, while the charges against 27 of the suspects were dismissed, according to Mr Ben Amor.

None of the defendants received the maximum penalty of capital punishment for a range of charges that include premeditated murder, threatening national security and belonging to an extremist-linked group.

The prosecution has said it will appeal the verdicts.

The suspected mastermind of both attacks, Chamseddine Sandi, has not yet been caught and is thought to be hiding in Libya.

Police say the defendants denied having participated directly in the March and June 2015 attacks during their questioning, but several of them acknowledged having provided logistical assistance to Sandi.

On March 18 2015 at the Bardo Museum in Tunis, 22 people were killed by extremists. Two of the gunmen were killed by police.

Three months later, on June 26 in the coastal city of Sousse, attacker Aymen Rezgui walked onto the beach of the Imperial Hotel and used an assault rifle to shoot tourists, killing 38 people, including 30 Britons.

Rezgui, a Tunisian student who trained with Libyan militants, was killed about 15 minutes later by police.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for those attacks, which devastated the country's tourism sector as travel agencies pulled out and governments issued travel warnings.

Tourism has since partially bounced back after Tunisia's government implemented a series of security measures to protect popular destinations.