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Bosnia terror Swede's 'sentence cut'

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12:22 CEST+02:00
A 21-year-old Swede convicted of planning a bomb attack on an unspecified European target has had his sentence reduced substantially by a Sarajevo court.

Mirsad Bektasevic, from Kungälv near Gothenburg, was convicted in January on a string of terror charges. A panel of three judges in appeals chamber of the Court of Bosnia-Hercegovina reduced his sentence from 15 years and four months to eight years and four months.

The court also reduced the sentences for the Swede's accomplices Abdulkadir Cesur, a Danish-born Turkish citizen, and Bosnian national Bajro Ikanovic.

They had been jailed for 13 years and four months and eight years respectively. However, the court reduced their sentences to eight years and four months, six years and six months, and four years.

The court, which has a German chairman, increased the punishment for two Bosnian men convicted in the same case, from two and a half years each to four and a half years each.

The three were found guilty of "intending to carry out a terrorist act" in Bosnia or another European country with the aim of forcing the withdrawal of troops from Iraq or Afghanistan.

Bektasevic, known by the codename Maximus, and Cesur were arrested in a Sarajevo apartment on 18th October 2005. In the search, police found a suicide bomb belt, nearly 20 kilograms (44 pounds) of explosives, a fuse hidden in a toy, two walkie-talkies and a video on bomb-making.

Before travelling to Bosnia, the Swede had been active in trying to recruit Jihadists through internet sites.

Swedish police started an investigation into the case, but this was wound up due to the fact that Bektasevic was already being tried in Bosnia. Links between the two Scandinavians and a group of Islamist extremists in Denmark led to further arrests and prosecutions.

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