Published: Sun, June 10, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Uzbek Gets Life Sentence in Stockholm Truck Attack

Uzbek Gets Life Sentence in Stockholm Truck Attack

The beer truck used in Stockholm attack is being towed away.

However, the jihadist organisation never claimed responsibility for the assault.

The victims were 41-year-old British father Chris Bevington, 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".

Judge Ragnar Palmkvist said Akilov, 40, was the only suspect in the attack, and that prosecutor Hans Ihrman called him a "security risk to society" during his trial at the Stockholm District Court.

Akilov, who confessed almost immediately to the attack, expressed no remorse during his nearly three-month trial.

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 of the truck.

FILE PHOTO: Rakhmat Akilov is seen being apprehended in Marsta, North of Stockholm after the lorry attack in Central Stockholm that killed five on April 7, 2017 in this handout photo taken in Stockholm, Sweden on April 7, 2017 and released by Swedish Police on January 30, 2018.

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Akilov has said he proposed carrying out an attack in Stockholm to Daesh on their behalf.

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 defense lawyer Johan Eriksson said his client had been cooperative throughout the investigation and should be given a time-limited sentence.

Suzanne Diamantakidou, 59, who was nearly hit by the truck and suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder after the attack, told the daily Expressen that she was "happy" with the verdict.

The man responsible for killing and injuring a number of people with a truck in Stockholm has been sentenced to life in prison.

Mr. Akilov, a welder from Samarkand, Uzbekistan, applied for asylum in November 2014, but was rejected and told to leave.

The Scandinavian country has registered 400,000 asylum applications since 2012 - or one for every 25 inhabitants, a record in Europe - with a peak of 162,000 applications in 2015.

After the attack, Swedish authorities were heavily criticised for having failed to find Akilov and expel him from the country.

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