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Copenhagen terror suspects kept in custody

The three men from Sweden who are suspected of planning a terrorist attack against Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten in Copenhagen will remain in custody for at least another four weeks.

Copenhagen terror suspects kept in custody

They will also be kept in isolation, the court decided in Glostrup, Denmark. Prosecutor Helene Schröder’s demand that the men should remain in custody for another four weeks was granted by the court.

Heavily armed police in bulletproof vests guarded the district court in Glostrup where the detention deliberations were held, according to news agency TT on Thursday.

Visitors who wished to follow the open parts of the hearing had to undergo extensive security controls and were forced to deposit both computers and telephones. The men, who were arrested on December 29th, have consistently denied the charges.

None of the suspects spoke during the hearing, carried out with a Swedish interpreter, Schröder told TT. She added that given the present situation, it is very difficult to estimate how long the investigation will take.

The requirement for continued isolation is because the case involves a serious crime, she explained.

“It is because the crime is so serious in nature. We do not want information to either leak in or out of jail,” said Schröder.

The investigation is being conducted with close contact with Swedish police and prosecutors.

“The cooperation is going very well. We have worked together on many major investigations now and have started to get a feel for each other’s legal systems,” said Schröder.

Lawyer Charlotte Møller Larsen is defending one of the suspects. The man spoke with her, but otherwise remained silent during the hearing.

“He says that he is innocent and he has no explanation as to why he was in Denmark at the time,” she said.

She also attempted to remove the condition for detention in isolation, but was unsuccessful.

“It is a tough strain to sit isolated, but he is managing it well,” said Møller Larsen.

It is unlikely that any extraditions will take place at the present time, neither of the three men detained in Denmark to Sweden or the man who currently held in Stockholm to Denmark, according to Schröder.

None of the three suspects’ friends or relatives were present. However, there was a massive police presence in place.

BREAKING

Swedish prosecutors upgrade Almedalen knife attack to terror crime

Prosecutors in Sweden are now treating the murder at the Almedalen political festival as a terror crime, with the country's Säpo security police taking over the investigation.

Swedish prosecutors upgrade Almedalen knife attack to terror crime

In a press release issued on Monday evening, the Swedish Prosecution Authority, said that the 32-year-old attacker, Theodor Engström, was now suspected of the crime of “terrorism through murder”, and also “preparation for a terror crime through preparation for murder”. 

Engström stabbed the psychiatrist Ing-Marie Wieselgren last Wednesday as she was on her way to moderate a seminar at the Almedalen political festival on the island of Gotland. 

Although he was a former member of the neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement, police said his motive seemed to be to protest against Sweden’s psychiatry services, who he felt had treated his own mental illness badly. 

The release gave no details as to why the 32-year-old was now being investigated for a more serious crime, but terror expert Magnus Ranstorp told the Expressen newspaper that the shift indicated that police had uncovered new evidence. 

READ ALSO: What do we now know about the Almedalen knife attack? 

“The new crime classification means that they’ve either found a political motive for the attack which meets the threshold for terrorism, and that might be a political motive for murdering Ing-Marie Wieselgren,” he said. “Or they might have discovered that he was scouting out a politician, or another target that could be considered political.” 

Engström’s defence lawyer said last week that his client, who he described as disturbed and incoherent, had spoken in police interrogations of having “a higher-up target”. 

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