The perpetrator of the Borussia Dortmund bus bombing has been found guilty of attempted murder. He targeted the team bus with explosives before a Champions League game last year, hoping to profit from share price drops.
The 11-month trial of the Borussia Dortmund bus bomber came to a close on Tuesday with a Dortmund court sentencing him to 14 years in prison.
Sergei W., a 29-year-old Russian-born German national, was found guilty of 28 counts of attempted murder for setting off roadside bombs targeting the team's bus on April 11, 2017. The vehicle was on its way to the club's home stadium, Signal Iduna Park, ahead of a Champions League match against AS Monaco at the time.
He confessed to building and setting off the bombs but maintained that he had not intended to harm anyone, rather to spread fear and terror, thereby bringing down Borussia Dortmund's share price. Sergei W. allegedly stood to gain more than half a million euros if he'd triggered a severe dip in the club's stock market value.
Prosecutors had sought a life sentence for Sergei W. while the defense had applied for a prison sentence "in the single-digit range" for causing an explosion.
The club did not to comment on Tuesday's ruling in a press conference ahead of its Champions League match with Club Brugge.
Multiple Borussia Dortmund players and coaches who were on the bus during the attack testified in the trial, along with explosives and stock experts. Matthias Ginter, who now plays for Borussia Mönchengladbach, burst into tears while on the stand. Roman Weidenfeller, a recently retired goalkeeper still active at the time, said, "The attack changed my life."
The club's then-coach, Thomas Tuchel, who parted ways with Dortmund after the 2016-17 season, testified that he would have remained in the post had the attack never taken place.
Spanish defender Marc Bartra seriously injured his forearm in the April 2017 attack and was sidelined for four weeks. He left the club the following January, moving to Seville-based club Real Betis.
dv/es (AFP, dpa)