Stockholm terror suspect admits truck attack

Stockholm terror suspect admits truck attack
Police on the street outside the court. Photo: Lee Roden/The Local
Security was high at Stockholm District Court as the prime suspect in Friday's truck attack appeared in court.

READ ALSO: The latest updates about the Stockholm truck attack

Rakhmat Akilov, 39, has admitted to committing a terrorist crime, his lawyer told the court as a remand hearing got under way just after 10am on Tuesday.

The prosecutor was asking the court to remand Akilov, an Uzbek national believed to have symphathized with jihadist groups, in custody. He is suspected of driving a stolen truck into pedestrians on a busy street in central Stockholm before crashing into a department store. Four people were killed and 15 others injured.

Akilov, a construction worker who had been refused permanent residency in Sweden, was arrested several hours after the attack in Märsta, a suburb around 40 kilometres north of central Stockholm.

The Local's reporter Lee Roden was outside the court just before the remand hearing started.

Armed police and security guards searched all members of the media before they were allowed to enter the high-security court room. Akilov himself entered with his head bowed and sat with his back to the room. He did not speak as his lawyer Johan Eriksson told the court that he “confesses to a terrorist crime and accepts his custody detention”.

The rest of the hearing, during which the court decided to keep Akilov locked up during the investigation, was held behind closed doors.

According to a statement from Sweden's prosecutorial authority the prosecutor will not ask the court to keep another man, who was being held on a lower degree of suspicion of terror crime, detained. However, the man will still remain in custody because of a previous order that he is to be deported, said the authority.

Prosecutor Hans Ihrman said the investigation continues, despite Akilov's confession.

“It is an important factor, but the investigation does not end because of it. (…) We will do everything we can to bring everyone who is guilty to justice,” he told reporters after the hearing.

Police outside the court house on Tuesday. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT