Afghani man gets life for March stabbing rampage in Sweden

COPENHAGEN, Denmark — A 22-year-old Afghan asylum-seeker was convicted Wednesday of attempted murder and sentenced to life imprisonment for a knife attack that injured seven people in a southern Swedish town earlier this year.

Tamin Sultani, an Afghani national, was shot by police and arrested after an 18-minute rampage on March 3. Investigators who dismissed terrorism as a motive charged him with seven cases of attempted murder.

The Eksjo District Court said Sultani will be deported after serving his time. He has said he wanted to go back to Afghanistan.

The life sentence, which does not have a fixed time, is the most severe punishment in Sweden.

Sultani attacked seven men with a 22-centimeter (8.7-inch) blade in the small town of Vetlanda, about 190 kilometers (118 miles) southeast of Goteborg, Sweden’s second largest city.

Three of the victims survived life-threatening injuries, two were seriously injured, two others were moderately injured and one individual was slightly hurt. Police initially said the attacker used an ax but it later turned out that Sultani was armed with a knife.

He sought asylum in Sweden in 2016. During the trail, he said he hadn’t managed to get 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.

Sultani claimed he twice attempted to commit suicide a week before the knife attacks,

“It was as if the brain had stopped working. I felt very bad mentally,” he told the court. A court-ordered psychiatric evaluation concluded that the man was not mentally disturbed at the time of the attack and was fit for a prison sentence.

During the trial in a high-security courtroom, he confessed to three of the attacks and said he does not remember the other four attacks but believes the victims’ accounts.