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Verdict Expected in Turkey 2003 Bombings Trial

News reports from Turkey say a ruling is expected soon in the trial of 73 al-Qaida-linked militants accused of involvement in a wave deadly bombings in Istanbul more than three years ago.

The reports say an Istanbul court is expected to hand down a verdict Friday, following final statements from nine of the defendants in custody.

Those present in court included a Syrian, Loa'i al-Saqa - an alleged associate of former al-Qaida in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

Prosecutors have demanded life imprisonment for al-Saqa, who is accused of masterminding the November 2003 attacks on the British Consulate, a British-owned bank and two synagogues that killed 58 people.

Prosecutors say several suspected ringleaders of the attacks fled the country and some are believed to have died while fighting in Iraq.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP .