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Two helicopter suspects remanded in custody

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Two helicopter suspects remanded in custody
16:16 CEST+02:00
Two men suspected of involvement in last week's daring helicopter heist have been remanded in custody by a Stockholm court. A third man has been released, while the remand hearing for a fourth suspect was postponed until Thursday.

The hearings followed angry remarks from Sweden's justice minister lambasting the police for leaking information to the press.

The court decided on Wednesday afternoon to order a 38-year-old man as well as the 34-year-old man suspected of flying the helicopter remanded in custody. Both are suspected of aggravated robbery or of being a accessories to aggravated robbery.

A 29-year-old man was being held on suspicions of either aggravated robbery or being an accessory to aggravated robbery was released following his hearing.

A fourth man, aged 36, had his remand hearing moved to Thursday.

Two other suspects, a 21-year-old male and a 31-year-old martial arts expert, were released on Tuesday night.

Investigators emphasized, however, that suspicions against the two men remain, but that it was no longer necessary to keep them detained.

Prosecutor Björn Frithiof, one of two prosecutors leading the investigation, confirmed that several more suspected culprits are being pursued.

“Everything indicates that considerably more people have been involved in this highly organized robbery," he told TT.

"With this in mind, and considering the risk that the suspects remaining at large may evade capture and hide evidence, we can not release any further information at the present time.”

In his submission to the court, Frithiof wrote that there was good reason to suspect that, if released, the three remanded individuals would attempt to hinder the investigation.

As the delicate investigation continues, the Swedish police once again found themselves on the receiving end of withering criticism following allegations of suspected leaks to the media.

Sources at the National Criminal Investigation Department (Rikskriminalpolisen)

told TV4 that disgruntled Stockholm police officers have been leaking sensitive information pertaining to the investigation to the public.

The charges provoked a pointed response from Sweden's Minister of Justice, Beatrice Ask, who pulled no punches in expressing her frustration over the situation

“I hope that none of them have the time to gossip to the general public, but that they shut up and do their jobs," Ask said to TV4.

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