Borussia Dortmund bus attacker sentenced to 14 years in prison

A German court has convicted a man on 28 counts of attempted murder during last year’s attack on the Borussia Dortmund bus.

The defendant, identified only as Sergej W in line with German privacy rules, was sentenced to 14 years by the Dortmund state court on Tuesday.

The Dortmund defender Marc Bartra and a police officer were injured when three explosions hit the team’s bus as it left a hotel for a Champions League home game on 11 April 2017.

Prosecutors alleged that W took out a loan to place a bet that Dortmund’s shares would drop in value, then bombed the bus and tried to disguise the attack as Islamic terrorism.

The blasts shattered a window of the bus and hit Bartra with shrapnel, leaving the team without the Spanish defender for about a month after he had to undergo surgery on a broken bone in his wrist.

The verdict fell short of prosecutors’ call for a life sentence. However, defence lawyers had argued that W should be convicted only of setting off an explosion and given a much lower sentence.

In January, the defendant testified that he carried out the attack but didn’t intend to kill or hurt anyone. The 29-year-old, a German citizen who came to the country from Russia at 13, told the court that he was trying to fake an attack and designed the explosives in such a way “that no harm to people could be expected.” The suspect was arrested 10 days after the attack.

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