Monday, July 26, 2021

Afghan youth gets life for Swedish stabbings

He attacked seven strangers with a kitchen knife 'because he was so upset' about something he regarded as blasphemous.

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A 22-year-old man has been sentenced to life in prison for stabbing several people in Sweden earlier this year.

Tamin Sultani, an Afghan asylum-seeker armed with a 22cm blade, stabbed pedestrians in the southern town of Vetlanda in March. He was shot by police and arrested after a nearly 20-minute rampage.

Investigators dismissed terrorism as a motive and only charged him with seven cases of attempted murder.

Sultani was convicted of the charges by Eksjö District Court on Wednesday and sentenced to life imprisonment. The court added that the man would be deported to Afghanistan after serving his jail time, reports EuroNews.

He responded that he would be happy to be deported back to Afghanistan.

The life sentence, which doesn’t have a fixed time, is the most severe punishment available to courts in Sweden.

Three of Sultani’s victims survived life-threatening injuries, two were seriously injured, and two others were moderately injured.

The attacks, in the small town near Sweden’s second city Gothenburg, occurred at several locations including a grocery store and travel agent.

Sultani was shot in the leg by police and arrested outside a school.

The court said “it appears that he had avoided some schoolgirls” he met, noting Sultani had said that he understood the teenage girls laughed at him but “would be afraid of the knife, so he hid it” in his sleeve.

In its verdict, the court said that the 22-year-old had used a kitchen knife from his apartment “because he was so upset” about something he regarded as blasphemous “done to his god and wanted to kill that person”.

There was no indication that Sultani had planned to kill his seven victims, the court said.

But the district court said there was a “concrete danger” that those attacked would die, as Sultani had stabbed them near their “vital organs”.

The Afghan national had sought asylum in Sweden in 2016. During his trial, Sultani said he had failed to find a job and only managed to work in various internships.

When his temporary residence permit expired, he was no longer allowed to study or work in the country.

In November 2020, he applied for a renewal of his temporary permit and the immigration authorities haven’t yet made a decision.

Sultani also claimed he twice attempted to commit suicide a week before the knife attack, and swore he could not remember stabbing some of his victims.

But a court-ordered psychiatric evaluation concluded that he was not mentally disturbed at the time of the attack and was fit for a prison sentence.

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