Matthias Rust, the young German who embarrassed the Kremlin by landing a light plane in the center of Moscow in 1987, was jailed for 21/2 years Friday for attempted manslaughter.
Rust, 23, was convicted of stabbing a student nurse after she rebuffed his attempts to kiss her in the locker room of a Hamburg hospital where he worked two years ago as an alternative to military service.The prosecutor asked for an eight-year term but conceded after hearing psychiatrists' testimony that Rust had diminished mental responsibility at the time of the attack.
Rust's lawyer had asked for a suspended two-year sentence, saying he had acted in the heat of the moment and had not intended to kill the 18-year-old nurse, who was seriously wounded and needed an emergency operation to save her life.
Rust told the court during his five-day trial that the woman had called him a "rutting ram" and accused him of making the daredevil flight to Moscow just to make himself look important.
He said he then suffered a blackout and came to his senses to find the woman lying bleeding with a knife beside her.
Psychiatrists said Rust had a brain abnormality and suffered from "narcissistic neuroses" and the effect of having to return to normal life after a brief period of fame.
Rust made world headlines four years ago when he landed his plane just off Red Square after eluding Soviet air defenses in what he called a flight for peace.
He served 14 months of a four-year jail sentence in Moscow.