Uzbek man pleads guilty in Stockholm terror trial

Swedish authorities say truck attack trial to help grasp radicalisation

Swedish authorities say truck attack trial to help grasp radicalisation

A Swedish court Tuesday opened the trial of an Uzbek man who confessed to ramming a stolen truck into a crowd in downtown Stockholm past year, killing five and injuring 14. He confessed during police interrogation.

He has said he wanted to punish Sweden for participating in the global coalition against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.

Three interpreters were on hand during the trial, which is expected to end on May 9.

Tajik Interior Minister Ramazon Rahimzoda told RFE/RL that Dushanbe had not been contacted by Stockholm with regard to Akilov's suspected ties to Tajik ISIS members.

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But a joint investigation by RFE/RL's Uzbek and Tajik services and Swedish news agency TT found that Akilov was in direct contact with alleged Islamic State (IS) militants from Tajikistan before, during, and after the Stockholm attack.

The trial against Rakhmat Akilov, perpetrator of the April 7th attack in this capital city, will begin today and might last until May, said Swedish authorities today.

Eriksson said in January that his client had not expected to survive the attack. While the prosecutor gave details about how Mr Akilov used 53 SIM cards and social media like Whatsapp, Telegram, Viber, Facebook and Zello, he looked at papers calmly.

Prosecutor Hans Ihrman told the court that the case should provide a better understanding of "the process of radicalisation" of emerging attackers who are "marginalised in a foreign country" and who take on "symbolic targets".

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Throughout the almost 10-month investigation, Mr Akilov has been cooperative, according to his lawyer and the prosecution.

"There are plenty of infidels here", he wrote.

His asylum claim had been rejected in 2016.

Because of the growing number of such truck attacks, Ihrman said Akilov's trial has drawn an global audience. "I think it's a big interest for everybody who is punished by attacks like this throughout Europe", he told reporters in Stockholm.

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