Charleston shooter charged with federal hate crimes

Washington, July 23 (IANS) The white gunman who allegedly killed nine African-Americans last month in South Carolina was indicted on 33 counts of federal charges, including hate crimes, the US Justice Department said late Wednesday.

US Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the 33-count federal indictment against Dylann Roof, 21, which included hate crimes, firearms violation and obstructing the practice of religion, Xinhua news agency reported.

If he is found guilty, Roof would face life imprisonment or the death penalty. However, Lynch said prosecutors had not made decision yet on whether they would seek the death penalty.

Roof had already been charged by state attorneys on nine counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder.

The racially motivated murder recently fuelled debates of racism in the US as the country was still recovering from widespread protests and rioting in the wake of a series of high-profile police shooting of unarmed African-American men.

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