Stockholm truck suspect ‘admits terrorist crimes’

STOCKHOLM: Rakhmat Akilov, the chief suspect in last week’s truck attack in central Stockholm, which claimed four lives, is to be held on remand until May 11, the Stockholm District Court said on Tuesday.
The decision was issued after a remand hearing where his lawyer, Johan Eriksson, told the court that Akilov “admits terrorist crimes.” The 39-year-old man from Uzbekistan did not contest the order he be held on remand, Eriksson told the court.
Most of the hearing was conducted behind closed doors. Deputy chief prosecutor Hans Ihrman requested this so he would be able to present evidence assembled in the case against Akilov. Eriksson and his client did not contest the request.
When Akilov entered the court room, he had covered his head with a green pullover, which Judge Malou Lindblom ordered him to remove, according to reporters present.
After the hearing, Ihrman told reporters that Akilov “was the man who was in the truck,” referring to Friday’s events, when four people died and 15 were injured when a hijacked beverage truck ploughed through pedestrians in a city shopping area before crashing into a department store.
The court also ruled that Akilov was to undergo a psychiatric evaluation, which Ihrman said was a routine procedure.
Ihrman said he was unable to comment on Akilov’s alleged motive for the truck attack or the evidence.
Although Akilov admitted to the attack, Ihrman said “that does not mean that the evidence is sufficient.”
The statement conveyed to the court that Akilove admitted to the attack was “an important circumstance” but such statements can be retracted, Ihrman told reporters after the hearing.
Both Ihrman and Erikssson said they were unable to offer details or comment on Akilov due to a court gag order.
Ihrman also declined to comment on the links between Akilov and a second person arrested on Sunday in connection with the truck attack.
But, shortly after Ihrman’s news conference, the Swedish Prosecution Authority issued a statement saying the second person was no longer suspected of involvement. — dpa