Trial begins for accused NYC truck attack driver Sayfullo Saipov
A federal trial began Monday for Sayfullo Saipov, who is accused of using a rental truck to kill eight people after speeding into a bike path in New York in 2017.
Saipov, a native of Uzbekistan who was 29 at the time of the attack, has pleaded not guilty to several counts of murder. He could face the death penalty if convicted. He entered the federal courtroom in New York City wearing an olive sweater, gray pants, a beard, as well as reading glasses and a white face mask. Several of the victims’ families were also present as Judge Vernon Broderick opened proceedings Monday morning.
The trial is expected to last three months, with the jury to convene from Monday to Thursday, the court said.
Saipov’s attack is being treated as an act of terrorism, and prosecutors say they found numerous notes, written in Arabic, on and near the rental vehicle that indicated Saipov had pledged his allegiance to ISIS. Saipov is the first person to face federal charges that could result in the death penalty under President Biden’s administration.
THE LEGAL RIGHTS OF TERROR SUSPECT SAYFULLO SAIPOV IN ONE
Undated booking photo of Sayfullo Saipov in St. Charles, Mo. Saipov, accused of killing eight people on a New York City bike path and injuring scores of others, spoke in court Friday, June 22, 2018, over prosecutor’s objection, calling out “Allah” and defending the Islamic State. . (St. Charles County Department of Corrections)
New York suffered its worst terrorist attack since 9/11 on Halloween 2017, when a driver plowed a rental truck into pedestrians and bicyclists on the West Side Expressway, killing 8 people. Police here are investigating the pickup truck used in the attack. (REUTERS)
Eight people were killed and 12 others injured after the 2017 attack, which took place near the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan. Of the eight killed, six were tourists from foreign countries, including five from Argentina and one from Belgium.
Several family members of the foreign victims wore headsets in the courtroom Monday.
After speeding across the bike path, Saipov is accused of crashing his vehicle into a yellow school bus before getting out and shouting “Allahu Akbar”. He was immediately shot with two bullets by nearby police officers, but survived his injuries.
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Saipov had been working as an Uber driver in New Jersey before the attack and had moved to New York City in search of better job opportunities.
Police tape stands on a damaged Home Depot truck after a motorist drove into a bike path near the World Trade Center memorial, hitting and killing several people, Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews) (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
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Federal authorities in New York have not carried out a death sentence since 1953.
Fox News’ Marta Dhanis contributed to this report.
Anders Hagstrom is a reporter with Fox News Digital covering national politics and major news events. Send tips to [email protected], or on Twitter: @Hagstrom_Anders.