world news Stockholm lorry attacker Rakhmat Akilov jailed for life
An Uzbek man who carried out a lorry assault which killed 5 individuals in Sweden final 12 months has been sentenced to life for terrorist crimes.
Rakhmat Akilov, 40, had expressed sympathy for the Islamic State (IS) group earlier than the assault in Stockholm.
However prosecutors needed to show he supposed to hurt the state, as IS didn’t say it was behind the assault.
Akilov, a rejected asylum seeker, fled the scene however was rapidly arrested and confessed throughout police interrogation.
He left Uzbekistan for Sweden in 2014 and sought residency there, however in December 2016 he was instructed that he had 4 weeks to depart the nation.
He disappeared and, a number of months earlier than the assault, was placed on an official needed record.
On 7 April final 12 months, Akilov hijacked a lorry and drove it at excessive velocity down one in all Stockholm’s busiest procuring streets and right into a division retailer.
5 individuals had been killed and 10 extra injured within the assault on Drottninggatan (Queen Avenue).
Police found an explosive system contained in the lorry which was made up of gasoline canisters and nails. It didn’t explode correctly and solely precipitated hearth harm to the automobile.
Akilov reportedly ran from the scene nonetheless coated in blood and glass, however was arrested hours later in a northern suburb of Stockholm.
He rapidly confessed throughout police interrogation.
“He acted with the direct intention to kill as many individuals as doable,” the court docket stated in its verdict.
Akilov might be expelled after serving the life time period, the court docket added, which in Sweden is a mean of 16 years.
In addition to the 5 murders, he was discovered responsible of the tried murders of 119 different individuals who had been on the scene of the assault.
Who had been the victims?
Three Swedes, a Belgian girl and a British man had been killed within the assault.
The British man was named as 41-year-old Chris Bevington who labored as a director with music streaming service Spotify.
The daddy-of-two was primarily based in Stockholm together with his household and reportedly threw his son to security because the lorry sped in direction of them.
Following the assault, his father John described him as a “fantastic husband, son, father, brother and shut good friend to many”.
Swedish nationwide Marie Kide, 66, was additionally killed. She was an area politician for the Inexperienced Get together within the city of Trollhattan, in western Sweden.
Get together spokeswoman Esther O’Hara paid tribute to her. “Marie leaves an enormous void behind her, she was a girl with a giant coronary heart and braveness in her convictions,” she stated.
The opposite Swedish victims had been Lena Wahlberg, 69, and an 11-year-old woman, Ebba Akerlund.
A 31-year-old Belgian girl, Maïlys Dereymaeker, from town of Halle was additionally killed.
Rakhmat Akilov failed in his bid to get residency in Sweden, misplaced his job and was hiding from police who needed to deport him previous to the assault.
In response to reviews, he had left a spouse and 4 kids behind in Uzbekistan to whom he was sending cash.
In 2016, he reportedly misplaced his job after falling asleep at work. Bumping right into a former colleague final 12 months, he revealed he was spending his days “sleeping and smoking”.
His Fb web page – which has been taken down – was linked to quite a few extremists by way of pals and featured at the very least two propaganda movies linked to IS, one reportedly displaying the aftermath of the Boston bombing.
Throughout his trial, he stated he needed to punish Sweden for its half within the world battle in opposition to IS militants.
However he was not thought-about a risk by Swedish safety companies, who dismissed him as a “marginal character”, apparently on the fringes of bigger militant actions.