Swedish court remands Vetlanda stabbing suspect in custody

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From the Swedish edition of the Local

A Swedish court has remanded a 22-year-old man in custody, after he was accused of stabbing seven people in the town of Vetlanda.

“He was remanded in custody, suspected of seven counts of attempted murder on March 3rd in Vetlanda,” judge Anna Sjöman told AFP. She said the court determined he was at risk of fleeing, which could inhibit the investigation or increase the risk of further crimes.

According to several media reports, the man, who denied the crime through his lawyer, was agitated during the hearing and shouted that he “hadn’t done anything”.

Prosecutors will need to decide on whether to press charges against the man by March 19th.

Police have said the suspect has an Afghan citizenship and that the case is being investigated as attempted murder, but they are also looking into whether he had a “potential terror motive”. 

The Swedish intelligence service Säpo will still be involved in the investigation, but have not taken over the case, as happens with suspected terrorism crimes. The suspect was a 22-year-old resident of the area and previously known to police, but in the past had only been suspected of “petty crimes”. 

Details of the man’s struggles with mental health have also emerged. Aftonbladet reported that the suspect had spoken about having psychiatric problems himself in an interview with police when he was suspected of a minor narcotics offence a few years earlier. The mental health problem excuse is wearing a bit thin. People with genuine problems find it very dangerous and it doesn’t help them.

As of Thursday morning, police said they had been able to carry out an initial questioning with the man overnight, after he received treatment for his injuries at hospital.

All the victims were men, with three of them receiving life-threatening injuries, according to health authorities, but on Thursday they were all reported to be in stable condition.

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