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Man acquitted of 'terrorist training' charges

Published onsdag 15 februari kl 12.34
Attunda district court.
Attunda district court. Credit: Janerik Henriksson/TT

A man in Sweden charged under Swedish terror laws with helping his son in Syria blow up a prison wall in Aleppo, has been freed by a court in Attunda.

The indictment against the man was the first time anyone has been prosecuted in Sweden under a new law from 2010, which makes it an offence to train someone for a terrorist crime or other particularly serious crime. On Wednesday the man was acquitted of the charges by the district court in Attunda.

The 47-year-old man, who lives in Stockholm, was charged with having sent messages to his son, who lived in Syria, on how to make explosives and use them to blow up a prison wall in Aleppo.

The man denied the charges and claimed that he did not teach his son anything that he did not already know.

Attunda district court established that the prosecution proved that 47-year-old had sent diagrams of explosives, and other material to help his son. It also heard evidence of transcripts of translated telephone and chat conversations between the man and his son.
 
However, he was acquitted due to the wording of the terror law and the purpose behind the planned bombing of the prison wall.

The indictment was "training for terrorist offences and other particularly serious crimes." But the definition of a terrorist crime in the Swedish law is, among other things, that the purpose is to intimidate the population of a country.

In this case, the court ruled that the aim was to "take the prison, release the prisoners and take control of a road outside the prison." Thus the instructions could not be classed as such a "particularly serious crime under the law," and the man was freed.

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