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Sole suspect in Stockholm truck attack set to take the stand

Europe
20.02.2018
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Stockholm (dpa) - A man from Uzbekistan charged with terrorism-related crimes is due to take the stand Tuesday for a truck attack in central Stockholm last year that left five people dead.

Rakhmat Akilov, who has admitted to the attack, is the sole suspect in the incident, which left 15 others injured.

At the trial‘s opening a week ago, his attorney, Johan Eriksson, said the 40-year-old had carried out the attack to instil fear and force Sweden to end its participation in the international coalition against Islamic State.

Prosecutors last week said Akilov pledged allegiance to the leader of Islamic State shortly before he carried out the attack.

They said Akilov scouted several locations in central Stockholm prior to the April 7 attack, when he hijacked a truck and ploughed through pedestrians in a Stockholm shopping area before crashing into a department store.

In addition to those killed and injured, Akilov is also charged with subjecting 150 people to the risk of death or serious injury.

Many signed on to the case as injured parties.

The Stockholm attack was one of several in Europe since 2016 in which a vehicle was used to target a crowd of civilians. Other deadly attacks have taken place in Barcelona, London, Berlin and Nice.

The trial at the Stockholm district court‘s high security chamber is scheduled to run to May.

Deputy chief prosecutor Hans Ihrman has said he would seek a life sentence for Akilov.

 

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