Uzbek man pleads guilty in Stockholm terror trial


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Reuters

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Police took this photo of Rakhmat Akilov when he was arrested

An Uzbek man on trial in Sweden has pleaded guilty to carrying out a lorry attack which killed five people in Stockholm last April.

Rakhmat Akilov, 39, admitted driving at high speed down a pedestrian street, the country’s worst terrorist attack.

His asylum claim had been rejected in 2016. He had expressed sympathy for the Islamic State (IS) group.

He appeared in an underground Stockholm court, in handcuffs and clad in a green prison uniform.

Survivors and relatives of victims can watch a live stream screened next door.

Rakhmat Akilov fled the scene after crashing the stolen beer lorry and was arrested several hours later on the edge of Stockholm. He confessed during police interrogation.

Under Swedish laws on terrorism, prosecutors must prove that he intended to harm the state. IS did not say it was behind the attack.

Jihadists had used vehicles in previous attacks – in the French city of Nice and in Berlin in 2016 and on Westminster Bridge in London in 2017.



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