HELSINKI: The main suspect in last week’s stabbing attack in Finland admitted Tuesday to killing two people and injuring eight others but denied any intent to murder, his lawyer said.
The Turku district court placed Abderrahman Mechkah, an 18-year-old Moroccan citizen, in formal custody after he made his statement to the court via video link from hospital, where he is being treated for a police gunshot wound to the thigh.
“The main suspect admits acts which led to deaths, but denies that they were murders,” his lawyer Kaarle Gummerus told AFP.
The stabbing is being investigated as Finland’s first terror attack.
“The offender in Turku incident is suspected on probable cause of murders and attempted murders with terrorist intent and placed in detention,” the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) said in a Twitter post.
“He didn’t explain the motive of the acts,” Gummerus added.
Police have said that Mechkah — an asylum seeker who arrived in Finland in early 2016 — targeted women in the Friday rampage at a market square in the southwestern port city of Turku.
Two Finnish women were killed and six women and two men were injured. Among the injured were a Briton, an Italian and a Swede.
Mechkah was shot by police minutes after the attack.
Most of the hearing was held behind closed doors, but press photos taken of the video screen at the beginning showed the suspect lying in his bed, his head propped up on pillows and his face shielded by a white sheet.