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Austrian court convicts 14-year-old Turk on terrorism charges

An Austrian court has convicted a schoolboy on terrorism charges and handed him a two-year prison sentence. The 14-year-old Austrian resident had pleaded guilty to the charges.

The court in the city of St. Pölten, 70 kilometers (45 miles) west of Vienna, on Tuesday found the defendant, identified as Mertkan G., guilty of belonging to a terrorist organization and planning to commit a terrorist act.

The court determined that there was sufficient evidence to prove that the defendant, who pleaded guilty to the charges, had planned to carry out a bombing attack on a Vienna train station before traveling to Syria to join "Islamic State" jihadist fighters.

The court suspended 16 months of his sentence, meaning he faces eight months behind bars.

At the time of his arrest in October of last year, police said the youth, who emigrated to Austria from Turkey in 2007, had made "concrete enquiries about buying ingredients" for a bomb and "planned to explode the devices in public places, such as the Vienna Westbahnhof," one of the Austrian capital's biggest train stations.

The defendant's lawyer argued that his client had since seen the error of his ways, having been taken in by Islamist propaganda.

pfd/ng (AFP, dpa, Reuters)

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