Sweden truck attacker convicted, given life sentence

A destroyed truck is pull away by a service car after it was driven into a department store in Stockholm Sweden Saturday

The Uzbek man who carried out a deadly attack on Stockholm a year ago swore allegiance to the Islamic State group in a video and wrote that he wanted "to scare the infidels and leave my life", prosecutors said Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018 as his trial began.

Rakmat Akilov was charged with terror-related murder and attempted murder for the attack that killed at least five people in April of 2017.

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.

Akilov's defence attorney Johan Eriksson said his client was "disappointed that he was sentenced to life".

The assault mirrored other truck attacks in 2016 that left scores dead, one in Nice, southern France, the other in Berlin.

The 40-year-old failed asylum seeker from Uzbekistan was known to have had discussions with the Islamic State terrorist group prior to the attack through the encrypted messaging app Telegram and another witness claimed he had expressed support for the group a full year before the attack took place.

Journalists at the press conference after Uzbek Rakhmat Akilov, is convicted to life imprisonment for the truck attack which killed five in Stockholm.

Akilov hijacked the vehicle outside a restaurant in central Stockholm and sped about 500m down a pedestrian street, ploughing into shoppers before crashing into a department store.

Sweden truck attacker convicted, given life sentence
Sweden truck attacker convicted, given life sentence

He was found guilty of five counts of terror-related murder, 119 counts of attempted murder and 24 cases of endangering the life of others.

The court added Akilov would be expelled after serving a life term, which averages 16 years in Sweden.

Judge Carl Rosenmuller told Sweden's TT news agency that it was considered attempted murder on anyone who had been up to 2 metres from the truck racing down Drottninggatan, while people further away were considered having been endangered.

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

Soon after the attack, Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said Sweden would stick by its open, liberal values.

On April 6 - the eve of the attack - Akilov swore allegiance to the Islamic State group.

While the text messages indicated Akilov consulted with his contacts on how to carry out his attack, prosecutors have insisted that he acted alone.

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