Deputy prosecutor Agnetha Hilding Qvarnström was short and to the point on Tuesday in writing the basis for her request for a remand hearing: “Planning to commit murder, September 2011 in Gothenburg.”
The four men, Mohamed Adel Kulan, 24, Abdi Aziz Mahamud, 26, Salar Sami Mahamood, 23, and Abdi Weli Mohamud, 25, have been held since Sunday after they were apprehended by an elite counter-terrorism unit and police.
Hundreds of people were also evacuated from the Röda Sten art exhibition hall after officials concluded that “there was a threat that could endanger lives or health or cause serious damage”.
Three of the suspects were born in Somalia and the fourth in Iraq and are residents of the Gothenburg area. The man born in the Iraq and two of Somali-born men are Swedish citizens while the fourth suspect holds a Swedish residency permit.
All have resided in Sweden since the 1990s.
Even though prosecutors no longer claim that the men were planning terror crimes, Swedish security service Säpo continues to investigate the matter, according to Säpo spokesperson Sara Kvarnström, although she refused to elaborate on why.
Karin Rosander, a spokesperson at the Swedish Prosecution Authority (Åklagarmyndigheten), explained that the lack of information being released to the public about the case is nothing unusual.
“In general, there is very little one can say at the start of an investigation. Often, it’s possible to release more information the longer the investigation continues,” she told the TT news agency.
The 25-year-old Weli Mohamud, who holsd Swedish citizenship and immigrated to Sweden from Somalia in 19991, is set to be interrogated on Tuesday, according to his defence attorney Eva Henriksson.
“Today we need to find out what this is about. It’s not acceptable that information comes out right before a remand hearing,” she told TT.
Björn Sjölander, a lawyer for another one of the suspects, is highly critical that no information has been given to his client.
“I’m critical of the fact that they didn’t inform him of the suspicions like they are supposed to according to the law. I don’t understand what he’s suspected of,” said Sjölander.
“To reveal what he’s suspected of, to him and his defence attorney, can’t have any affect on the investigation.”
Sjölander’s client denies committing any crimes
“He says that he’s not involved in anything and that the police have made a huge mistake and that he’s convinced that he’s going to be released,” said Sjölander.