Stockholm truck attacker sentenced to life

Stockholm District Court sentenced Islamic State (IS) supporter and Uzbek national Rakhmat Akilov to life on Thursday for carrying out a truck attack (pictured) that killed five people in the capital last year.

The Court found Akilov, 40, guilty of 119 counts of attempted murder and 24 counts of endangering others. He will be expelled from Sweden after serving his sentence.

An average life term in Sweden is 16 years.

Akilov confessed to driving a stolen truck down the busy Drottninggatan Street meant for pedestrians in central Stockholm on April 7 last year before crashing it into a department store.

During his trial, Akilov testified that he hoped the attack would force Sweden to stop participating in the global war against Islamic State.

Strangely, the terrorist group never claimed responsibility for the Stockholm attack.

The ruling by Judge Ragnar Palmkvist was in accordance with what deputy chief prosecutor Hans Ihrman had requested.

In February, after the accused pleaded guilty to terrorism, Ihrman had urged the court to jail him for life and expel him after serving the sentence. Ihrman then described Akilov as a danger to society.

The court observed that the attack was “perhaps the most serious crime ever carried out in Sweden”.

Palmkvist said the trial and the confession proved beyond doubt that Akilov was inspired by Islamic State to commit the terrorist attack in the heart of Sweden.

Akilov’s lawyer Johan Eriksson sought a time-limited sentence to his client arguing Akilov had cooperated with the investigators after his arrest.

But Akilov expressed no remorse for this actions during the trial and the lawyer’s turned down Eriksson’s request.

Islamic State terrorists or sympathisers have carried out vehicle attacks in Barcelona, London, Berlin and Nice, besides Stockholm.