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Appeals against 18 year sentence for imam's attempted murder

Updated fredag 8 januari 2016 kl 19.03
Published fredag 8 januari 2016 kl 16.30
"Eighteen years is a light sentence."
(1:18 min)
Photo: Marcus Ericsson / TT
A scene from the trial in Östersund. This was the first time a person was put in trial in Sweden, suspected of attempting to carry out an assassination on behalf of the Uzbek dictatorship. Photo: Marcus Ericsson / TT

Both sides have appealed the 18-year prison sentence given to a man from Uzbekistan for the attempted murder in 2012 of an imam in Strömstad in northern Sweden.

The imam was critical of the Uzbek regime, but when the district court handed down its verdict in mid-December it said it couldn’t be established whether the Uzbek state was behind the murder attempt, just that the would-be assassin had acted on behalf of someone else.

The sentence of 18 years plus SEK 300,000 in damages, followed by deportation is heavy by Swedish standards. The prosecutor had sought a life sentence, and now the victim’s relatives have appealed to a higher court. The imam’s son David Nazarov says the sentence was too lenient.

“The prosecutor wanted life imprisonment,” he tells Swedish Radio’s P4 Jämtland, “and we also think this sentence is too short. Eighteen years is a light sentence for him.”

The defense has also appealed the sentence. Jorge Concha is the 37-year-old defendant’s lawyer:

“We had hoped for a not-guilty verdict,” he says. "I think the District Court reached the wrong conclusion. We think there are circumstances in our favor that the District Court didn’t take into consideration.”

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