US airmen’s killer sentenced to life, lawyer and family reax

(10 Feb 2012) SHOTLIST
1. Various of Joe and Kelsey Alden relatives of victim Senior Airman Nicholas J. Alden, speaking to prosecution lawyers
2. Joe and Kelsey Alden sitting in court
3. Various of federal prosecutor Jochen Weingarten putting on robe
4. Joe Alden, oldest brother of killed Senior Airman Nicholas J. Alden, 25, from South Carolina, and his sister Kelsey, being interviewed inside court room
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Joe Alden, oldest brother of killed Senior Airman Nicholas J. Alden, 25, from South Carolina:
“The verdict, I am happy with the verdict, justice was served. I think that the courts did a great job. We appreciate the apologies, sincere apologies. And I just want to let you know that we don’t have any ill will towards Germany whatsoever. Like I said, we love this country, I grew up here in Baden-Wuerttemberg, Stuttgart, she was born here, my brother was born here as well. And I plan on coming back in the future.”
Question: What are your feelings now?
Alden: “My feelings? I am satisfied, I am at peace, you know. I feel there is like there’s a lot, a huge weight off our shoulders – a huge weight off our shoulders now. So, it still hurts, it really does, but it is going to take a lot of time, but a little bit less.”
6. Various of journalists gathering around Aldens in court room
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Jens Joerg Hoffmann, defence lawyer:
“We have prepared him (refers to Uka) for that day since the deed. And we have told him that there will be the possibility, the only possibility, of a lifelong sentence. The thing will be the court didn’t follow us with this accumulated circumstances, and therefore we will have to wait for the written form. There might be some juridical discussion about that. We’ll have to see.”
8. Hoffmann giving interview
9. Mid of empty seats (of judges) inside court room
10. SOUNDBITE (German) Jochen Weingarten, State Prosecutor:
“The accused, who is in a sound state of mind, has committed this attack in deep, firm conviction of his faith, not just as a call but more of an obligation of duty. This is the result of islamic and jihadist propaganda which the accused watched increasingly on the internet with self conviction and belief.”
11. Joe Alden, his sister Kelsey and their lawyer outside court building
12. Mid of police
13. Mid of police cars
14. Various exteriors of court
An Islamic extremist who killed two US airmen in an attack at Frankfurt airport last year was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison on Friday.
Arid Uka, 22, was also convicted of attempted murder and serious bodily harm for wounding two other servicemen and for taking aim at a third before his 9mm pistol jammed.
Uka killed Senior Airman Nicholas J. Alden, 25, from South Carolina, and Airman 1st Class Zachary R. Cuddeback, 21, from Virginia in the March 2 attack on an Air Force security team headed for Afghanistan as its members boarded a bus at the airport.
Staff Sgt. Kristoffer Schneider survived devastating injuries from a head wound. Another airman, Edgar Veguilla, was hit in the jaw and arm.
Judge Thomas Sagebiel ruled at the state court in Frankfurt that the circumstances of the killing mean Uka bears “particularly severe guilt.”
That means he won’t immediately be eligible for parole after 15 years as is usual in Germany, but must wait several more years for his behaviour and possibility for rehabilitation to be reviewed.
Life sentences without a chance for parole are not possible under German law.
In his ruling, Sagebiel cited the fact that Uka shot unarmed people – from behind in Alden’s case – and the severity of the injuries and disabilities suffered by Schneider and Veguilla.

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