Man goes on trial over Stockholm truck attack

Swedish authorities say truck attack trial to help grasp radicalisation

The man who drove a truck into a crowd of people in central Stockholm last April has gone on trial today, accused of terror offences. Akilov is involved in one of three terrorist cases involving Uzbek nationals over the a year ago, in Stockholm, Moscow, and Istanbul.

Prosecutors have said they will seek a life sentence for Akilov and, thereafter, his expulsion from the Scandinavian country.

Eriksson said his client "stole the truck and drove it" for almost 500 metres at an average speed of 60 km per hour (37 mph) with the intention "to get Sweden to end its participation in the coalition against the Islamic State".

Throughout the almost 10-month investigation, Akilov has been co-operative, according to his lawyer and the prosecution.

A hijacked beer truck rammed into the upscale Ahlens department store on the busy Drottninggatan street, a major pedestrianized shopping area in the center of the city and above the city's main railway station.

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Rakhmat Akilov appeared in the Stockholm courtroom, handcuffed amid tight security, wearing green prison clothes and with a shaved head and a beard, accompanied by his lawyer Johan Eriksson, several media reports stated.

The dead included Briton Chris Bevington, 41, who worked as a director with music streaming service Spotify and was based in Stockholm with his family.

Five people were killed - a British man, a Belgian woman and three Swedes, including an 11-year-old girl. A verdict is expected before the summer.

Akilov, a construction worker and an ethnic Tajik from Uzbekistan whose Swedish asylum application was rejected in 2016, was arrested a few hours after the Stockholm attack, and police said he confessed the next day. It was not clear whether the terror group had accepted his offer. Investigators found videos linked to Isis on a memory card dating to 2014 when he first came to Sweden claiming he was persecuted at...

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