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German court hands 14-year prison sentence to Borussia Dortmund bus bomber



Berlin, Nov 27: A German court on Tuesday awarded a 14-year prison sentence to the perpetrator of a shrapnel bomb attack on the Borussia Dortmund football team bus that injured Spanish international defender Marc Bartra and a police officer.

The Russian-born German 29-year-old Sergej Wenergold was found guilty on 28 counts of attempted murder by a Dortmund district court, reports Efe news.

Wenergold had planned the attack in the expectation that he would profit financially by betting that the club's stock market value would plunge, the prosecutor had argued in court.

The bomb detonated as the Borussia team was heading to the stadium to play the 2017 Champions League quarter-finals against Monaco.

Wenergold placed the homemade bomb on the bus before it began its scheduled route and then remotely detonated it, something he confessed during the court hearings.

The prison term was shorter than the life sentence requested by the state prosecutor for the author of the April 2017 attack.

The prosecutor said Wenergold had intended "to cause the greatest damage possible" and had pondered on the possibility of causing death and injury.

The attack provoked an uproar in Germany including speculation that it could have been a terror attack, until Wenergold's arrest 10 days after the event.

The Champion's League match had to be delayed one day which also provoked acrimony between the club's executive board and trainer, Thomas Tuchel, who left the team after the season ended.

Bartra required hospitalisation and a long convalescence period, while other players had to receive psychological assistance.

Wenergold was born in Russia and arrived in Germany with his family in 2003 where he lived in the southwest and worked as an electrician on a monthly wage of 3,900 euros ($4,400), according to the prosecutor.

Prior to the attack, he had invested 44,300 euros ($50,006), betting on a share price drop of the only Bundesliga team quoted in the German stock exchange.

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