Monday, 27 May, 2019

Truck driver who killed 5 in Sweden attack gets life sentence

Stockholm. An Uzbek man has been given a life sentence for the attack Stockholm truck attacker sentenced to life in prison for terrorism
Deanna Wagner | 10 June, 2018, 20:31

Debris where a truck crashed into a pedestrian street in downtown Stockholm on April 8, 2017 in Stockholm. He told the court that he had been given a green light to carry out the attack by the militant group, although IS did not claim responsibility for the incident.

Briton Chris Bevington, a 41-year-old executive at Swedish music-streaming service Spotify, was among the victims, which also included a Belgian woman and three Swedes, including an 11-year-old girl.

The court agreed with senior judge Ragnar Palmkvist, who noted at a press conference on Thursday, that "Rakhmat Akilov's sympathies for IS are beyond doubt".

The prosecution said that Akilov was too risky to society to be released and pushed for the life sentence.

During his nearly three-month trial, Akilov expressed no remorse.

He was arrested the same day outside a gas station in a Stockholm suburb after he was recognised from a CCTV image and quickly admitted to being the driver.

People gather around flowers near the department store Ahlens in Stockholm, Sweden following the truck attack.

Authorities said Akilov "intended to force Sweden to stop participating in the global coalition against IS" and to "spread fear among the population".

Swedish district court judge Ragnar Palmkvist hands down the verdict of life sentence for Uzbek Rakhmat Akilov in Stockholm
ISIS sympathizer given life sentence for deadly Sweden truck attack

Akilov told the court he had planned to die as a martyr and did not expect to survive the attack.

The prosecution had demanded a life sentence, while defence lawyer Johan Eriksson said his client had been co-operative throughout the investigation and should be given a time-limited sentence.

Sweden, which is not a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member, has some 70 military personnel based mainly in northern Iraq to provide training as part of the USA -led coalition against IS.

A failed Uzbek asylum seeker was jailed for life in Sweden on Thursday for killing five people when he slammed a stolen truck into shoppers on a busy street in Stockholm in April 2017.

After arriving in Sweden in 2014, on the cusp of a huge wave of migration to Europe, Akilov's application for residency was rejected in June 2016.

Akilov was born in Uzbekistan where he was a construction worker.

The father of four, who drank alcohol and used drugs according to colleagues and acquaintances, lived alone in Sweden.

Security and immigration are two of the main themes dominating Sweden's general election campaign ahead of a September 9 vote.

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