STOCKHOLM -- Uzbekistani asylum seeker Rakhmat Akilov says his goal in a deadly terrorist attack last April in Stockholm was to stop Sweden from fighting the "Islamic State" (IS), Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported Tuesday (February 20).
Akilov, a 39-year-old construction worker and an ethnic Tajik from Uzbekistan, is accused of ramming a delivery truck into pedestrians, killing five people on a busy Stockholm shopping street on April 7, 2017.
His trial began February 13, during which he pleaded guilty.
"I wanted Sweden to stop sending soldiers to war zones where [IS] is being attacked," Akilov told the court in Stockholm during a hearing Tuesday. He spoke in Russian through an interpreter.
He said he also wanted Sweden "to stop sending gigantic sums of money to combat [IS]".
Sweden has deployed about 70 military personnel to conduct training in northern Iraq as part of the anti-IS coalition.
Akilov confessed to police soon after his arrest, saying he wanted to run down "infidels".
The prosecution is seeking a life sentence and, thereafter, his expulsion from the country. A life sentence in Sweden averages 16 years.
The trial is scheduled to run through May. A verdict is expected in June.
Akilov is suspected of having direct contact with alleged IS militants from Tajikistan throughout the April attack, according to a joint investigation by RFE/RL's Uzbek and Tajik services and Swedish news agency TT.
However, neither IS nor any other group claimed responsibility.