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Prosecutor requests Stockholm terror suspect detained pending trial

Published måndag 10 april 2017 kl 17.35
Police chief Dan Eliasson (centre right) said he was "extremely confident" the right man had been arrested.
Police chief Dan Eliasson (centre right) said he was "extremely confident" the right man had been arrested. Credit: Jessica Gow/TT

A Swedish prosecutor has requested that suspected perpetrator of Friday’s terror attack in central Stockholm be placed in pre-trial detention, with police now increasingly certain they have the right man.

Deputy Chief Prosecutor Hans Ihrman made the application on Monday afternoon and the detention hearing is scheduled for 10am on Tuesday morning. 

Johan Eriksson, the lawyer defending the main suspect, has been served with a notice forbidding him from disclosing details of the case such as the relationship between the two suspects.

National police chief Dan Eliasson told a press conference earlier in the day:

When it comes to the current status of the investigation, I feel extremely confident that we have the right perpetrator who drove the truck,”

“We have several forms of evidence: we have technical evidence, we have photographs and we have information from the individual himself.”

The 39-year-old man, who comes from Uzbekistan, is suspected of driving the truck which careered down Drottninggatan, one of Stockholm’s busiest shopping streets, on Friday afternoon, before crashing into the Åhlens department store.

Four people were killed by the vehicle and at least fifteen pedestrians injured.  

The man was seized by police near Märsta, north of Stockholm, just before 9pm on Friday, and then formally arrested early on Saturday morning.

Another man, who police suspect collaborated with the driver, is also in police custody.

“We continue to work to see if there might be others involved with the two we have seized,” Eliasson said.

Anders Thornberg, head of Swedish security police Säpo, warned on Monday that there was a risk of reprisals by far-right groups, telling the press conference: 

We are seeing activity in the criminal segments of the white power movement,”

“We also know that we are approaching a general election, and that usually means this movement becomes more active.”

The 39-year-old man applied for a residency permit in 2014 but was rejected. He also sought asylum. His case was transferred from the Migration Agency to the Stockholm police when his application was rejected. On 27 February, police sent out a wanted notice for the man.

Four people were killed in the attack: A Swedish schoolgirl, a woman from Uddevalla, a 41-year-old British man, and a Belgian woman.

Nine of those injured are still being treated in hospital.

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