Omer A., 29, who admitted his sympathy for the Islamic State (IS) group and said he carried out the attack to "avenge" the international war against the terrorist organisation, received an even higher sentence than requested by the prosecutor, who had asked for 18 years in prison, reported the Tribune de Genéve, quoted by the EFE news agency.

The murder took place on September 12, 2020 in a restaurant in Morges, a town on the shores of Lake Geneva near Lausanne, when the assailant randomly chose a victim, a Portuguese citizen, and stabbed him in the back, after screaming "Allah is Great".

The victim, a Portuguese man who was 29 years old at the time of the crime, had recently moved to the region, where he worked apple picking.

The Portuguese man was waiting his turn in line at a kebab restaurant when, for no apparent reason, he was attacked by the convict. At the time of the crime, the victim was accompanied by his girlfriend and friends, who witnessed the attack.

The convicted man, who has suffered from schizophrenia since he was a teenager, has already served 15 months in prison for the attempt to set a petrol station on fire in 2019, and while in detention he violently attacked two people (a police officer and a prisoner, who stabbed him with a pen).

The trial was held last December and psychiatric experts concluded that the defendant's schizophrenic problems could be a mitigating factor, although he has refused to receive psychiatric treatment, which will be replaced by other therapies.

The convicted man, who worked as an apprentice painter, admitted to having begun to become radicalized in 2016, although he said he never swore allegiance to the so-called Islamic State and claimed that after his time in prison, he had lost "all interest in a holy war".

The man tried to travel to Syria in 2019 to allegedly join IS and has been in pre-trial detention since his arrest on September 13, 2020.

The president of the criminal court stressed the extreme gravity of the crimes.

"A life sentence of more than 20 years would have been possible", but "it was necessary to take into account the moderately diminished responsibility attested by psychiatric experts", said the judge, according to the ATS agency.