Stockholm attack: Suspect admits to committing a 'terrorist crime' in Swedish court

The key suspect in Friday's truck attack in Stockholm, 39-year-old Rakhmat Akilov, has admitted to committing a terrorist crime, his lawyer told a Swedish court on Tuesday morning.

Rakhmat Akilov, a migrant of Uzbek origin, confessed he was the driver of a stolen truck which was rammed into a department store in the center of Sweden's capital on Friday.

"His position is that he admits to a terrorist crime and accepts therefore that he will be detained", Eriksson said.

The construction worker, who was arrested in a Stockholm suburb hours after last Friday's attack, appeared handcuffed and wearing a thick green hoodie over his head.

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Eight of the 15 people injured, two seriously, are still being treated in the hospital.

After about an hour, journalists were readmitted into the courtroom and the judge remanded Akilov in custody.

Legal documents show Akilov had asked for Eriksson to be replaced by a Sunni Muslim lawyer, but the court denied his request.

Police said Akilov was known to have been sympathetic to extremist organisations but that there was nothing to indicate he might plan an attack. Police would only say the suspect was male.

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The prosecutor's office said Tuesday that it will revoke the arrest of a second man police had detained Sunday because they suspected he was involved in the case.

"We will continue to investigate if Akilov had other people around him" who may have been accomplices, Ihrman said.

Intelligence agency Sapo has said the Akilov had appeared on their radar previous year for undisclosed reasons, but national police commissioner Dan Eliasson said "there was nothing in the system that indicated (the suspect) would do something like what he did on Friday". Security services have said that he had figured in intelligence reports but they had not viewed him as a militant threat.

Sweden observed a minute of silence Monday on a national day of mourning for the victims, with Swedish royalty, foreign diplomats and politicians among the crowds gathering for a noon observance outside Stockholm City Hall, where Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said "the whole of Sweden" sympathized with the families and friends of the victims.

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Justice Minister Morgan Johansson meanwhile told AFP he wants to beef up Sweden's anti-terror laws.

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