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Bombs were for money, not to kill, Borussia Dortmund suspect says

BERLIN (Reuters) - A German-Russian man admitted on Monday that he had staged bomb attacks on the team bus of Borussia Dortmund football team last April but said he had done so only as part of a money-making scheme and not to harm or kill anyone, his lawyer said.

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The 28-year-old man, identified as Sergei W., has been charged with 28 counts of attempted murder for detonating the roadside bombs in a plan to reap profit when the club’s share price dropped.

He could face life imprisonment if convicted.

The team were heading to the club’s stadium for a Champions League match against AS Monaco on April 11 when the explosives detonated. The club’s Spanish defender, Marc Bartra, was wounded and the match was delayed by a day.

Defense lawyer Carl Heydenreich told journalists outside a state court in Dortmund that his client deeply regretted what he had done and that he had planned the attacks to trigger a fall in BVB’s share price from which he could profit.

It had not been his intention to harm anyone.

Prosecutors have said the defendant bought about 44,000 euros ($52,700) worth of options on the day of the attack which he could have sold at a profit when the share price dropped.

“Whether it’s greed. This is the question. He said he acted for financial reasons,” Heydenreich said as his client stood before the court.

“I believe it’s not conceivable that someone using this kind of equipment can then say ‘I’m just doing it to scare people’ and then benefit from it,” said Alfons Becker, the club’s lawyer, referring to the explosives the accused had planted.

($1 = 0.8352 euros)

Reporting By Reuters TV; Writing by Riham Alkousaa; Editing by Richard Balmforth