Stockholm suspect admits terrorist truck attack

The lawyer of the suspect at a court hearing in the Swedish capital have made a statement that his client has confessed to be responsible for the Stockholm truck attack.

Rakhmat Akilov, 39 and from Uzbekistan, admitted carrying out the attack in court, after he remained in custody.

Handcuffed and in green overalls, he was brought into the court.

The attacker drove into a department store on Friday. Four were dead and a number of people were also injured, from which two critically.

His lawyer Johan Eriksson gave a statement: “His position is that he admits to a terrorist crime and accepts therefore that he will be detained.”

The second man is no longer being held as a suspect, but he will not be released because he already had a deportation order standing against him and he will be soon deported.

During the court hearing there was high level of security and the press gallery was full.  The hearing was conducted behind closed doors.

Mr Akilov was told to remove a green blanket from his head before the hearing started.

The attacker will have restrictions placed on him while in custody, including not being able to use mobile communications.

According to swedish police, Mr Akilov was known to security services from before and

he had been denied residency in Sweden.

Still no group has claimed to be responsible for the attack.

The attacker ran from the scene of the attack, still covered in blood and glass. He was later arrested in matter of hours in a northern suburb of Stockholm.

He applied for residency in 2014, but he was informed in December 2016 that “he had four weeks to leave the country”, police official Jonas Hysing said. After the decision to be turned down for residency, he disappeared and, in February, was officially put on a wanted list.

After the attack, as a response, Swedish Justice Minister Morgan Johansson said he wanted to toughen the nation’s terrorism laws.

In an official interview, Mr Johansson talked about making improvement on financing of terrorism and potential prison sentences for those “dedicated to terrorism even if not connected to a specific crime”.

For this interview he stated: “We want to give the police the opportunity, without concrete suspicion of a crime, to go into workplaces to make sure that people who work there are in Sweden [legally].”

Still the identities of those who died are not released, but said they were:

  • Two Swedish nationals – one reported to be an 11-year-old girl
  • A Briton – named by his family as 41-year-old Chris Bevington
  • A Belgian woman, who has since been named by the Belgian media as 31-year-old psychologist Mailys Dereymaeker