Terror Swede to appeal sentence

The 19-year-old Swede sentenced to 15 years imprisonment by a court in Sarajevo will appeal his conviction on terror-related charges.

Early on Thursday, Monica Jagerman from the Swedish embassy visited Mirsad Bektasevic, from Kungälv near Gothenburg, in the Sarajevo jail where he is being held.

“He doesn’t care whether or not the verdict is appealed. His lawyer will have to decide that,” she said.

Later in the day, however, Fagerman was able to reveal that the prisoner had changed his mind.

“He can’t understand that he was given such a long sentence. He is critical of the whole process and has given his consent to appeal the verdict,” she told Dagens Nyheter.

The Swede’s lawyer can launch an official appeal after the court’s verdict has been made available in writing in 14 days time.

Bektasevic and a Danish citizen were arrested on 19th October 2005 in an apartment in Sarajevo. Police found assorted bomb-making paraphernalia in the apartment, including 20 kilos of explosives, a belt of the type used in suicide bombs, hand grenades, guns and a video.

The 38-minute film features two masked men declaring their intention to attack European countries with troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The Swede admitted at trial that the recording was made with a camera borrowed from his Bosnian aunt, but denies being one of the two men in the video.

Exactly what Bektasevic’s target was has not been established by prosecutors, although the British Embassy in Sarajevo or Nato troops have been mentioned in press reports as potential subjects of his attack.

The trial in Bosnia ended on Friday, having started in the summer. The 19-year-old Swede has spent nearly 15 months on remand in Bosnia.