Stockholm truck attack suspect pleads guilty to terrorism at trial | World| Breakings news and perspectives from around the globe | DW | 13.02.2018

World

Stockholm truck attack suspect pleads guilty to terrorism at trial

The only suspect in the April 2017 attack has pleaded guilty to terrorism charges at his start of his trial. Prosecutors say he wanted to "create fear" in the population.

Schweden - Stockholm nach dem Anschlag (Getty Images/AFP/O. Andersen)

An Uzbek asylum seeker has pleaded guilty to charges of terrorism for a truck attack that killed five people in Stockholm last year. As the trial of the attack's only suspect opened, defense lawyer Johan Eriksson told the court the motive of the attack "was to instigate fear and to get Sweden to end its participation in the coalition against the Islamic State (IS)."

Deputy Chief Prosecutor Hans Ihrman told the Stockholm District Court that many of the victims sustained permanent injuries such as brain damage and hearing impairments, and spoke of legs being amputated. Ihrman said he wanted the suspect, 39-year-old Rakhmat A, to be deported from Sweden after serving any sentence handed down.

Prosecutors are seeking a life sentence for the accused attacker, who arrived at the court wearing a green fleece sweater.

A view of the site where the truck drove into a crowd and into a department store in Stockholm (Reuters/D. Armada)

A view of the site where the truck drove into a crowd and into a department store in Stockholm

Pre-attack planning

The charge sheet states the suspect wanted to "create fear in the population" and accuses him of planning the attack, stating he visited several locations in central Stockholm in advance of the assault. He is also charged with subjecting 150 other people to the risk of death or serious injury.

The 39-year-old suspect had previously admitted to carrying out the fatal attack and had been remanded in pre-trial detention since the incident.

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven lays flowers and a candle at the attack scene (Getty Images/AFP/J. Nackstrand)

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven lays flowers and a candle at the attack scene

The attack

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. 

A spokeswoman for transport company Spendrups told the French news agency AFP that the truck "had been stolen during a delivery to a restaurant."

Watch video 00:25

Stockholm eyewitness: 'It was horrible'

The area was cordoned off and large numbers of police and emergency services were at the scene. All subway traffic was also closed down in the city and the parliament was put on lockdown.

 

kp/rc (AFP, AP, Reuters)

DW recommends

Audios and videos on the topic

Albanian Shqip

Amharic አማርኛ

Arabic العربية

Bengali বাংলা

Bosnian B/H/S

Bulgarian Български

Chinese (Simplified) 简

Chinese (Traditional) 繁

Croatian Hrvatski

Dari دری

English English

French Français

German Deutsch

Greek Ελληνικά

Hausa Hausa

Hindi हिन्दी

Indonesian Bahasa Indonesia

Kiswahili Kiswahili

Macedonian Македонски

Pashto پښتو

Persian فارسی

Polish Polski

Portuguese Português para África

Portuguese Português do Brasil

Romanian Română

Russian Русский

Serbian Српски/Srpski

Spanish Español

Turkish Türkçe

Ukrainian Українська

Urdu اردو