Uzbek imam shot in February

Court acquits couple accused in imam shooting

The district court of Östersund ruled Thursday morning to acquit an Uzbek couple who had been accused of acting as accessories in the attempted murder of an Uzbek imam.

Swedish Radio news reports that the prosecutor, Krister Peterson, held that the couple had helped a man to figure out where the imam lived, and also helped the man find housing and transportation.

However, according to the court, the prosecutor succeeded neither in proving that the man who had received the couple's help was the same person who had shot the imam, nor in proving the couple's intention when they had helped the man with housing and transportation.

The prosecutor had hoped the couple would be sentenced to serve eight years in prison, followed by deportation.

The imam was shot on the stairs of his apartment building in the west coast city of Strömstad on February 22. The imam, a critic of the regime in Uzbekistan, was wanted there for terrorism, and fled to Sweden in 2006.