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

The man accused of slamming a stolen truck into pedestrians before crashing into a Stockholm department store, killing four people and wounding 15 others, will plead guilty, his lawyer said Tuesday.

The suspected driver of the truck, who bailed after the crash but was arrested a short time later, is 39-year-old Rakhmat Akilov. The attack resulted in two Swedes, a British man and a Belgian woman being killed and left fifteen injured.

Nine people remained hospitalised, two of them in serious condition.

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, who led a nationwide minute of silence for the victims on Monday, said he was "frustrated" by the problem, while far-right Sweden Democrats leader Jimmie Akesson called it a "huge scandal". The judge then ordered the hearing to proceed behind closed doors.

The prosecutor, Hans Ihrman, had asked the judge to close the proceedings to the public, and Eriksson agreed.

"He has not just confessed. But no such information [was] in the system and that's very important to note", he said. He had already been wanted by police for failing to comply with a deportation order after being denied permanent residency.

After about an hour, journalists were readmitted into the courtroom and the judge remanded Akilov in custody. Police said Mr. Akilov was known to have been sympathetic to extremist organizations but that there was nothing to indicate he might plan an attack. Security services have said that he had figured in intelligence reports but they had not viewed him as a militant threat.

Court documents seen by AFP showed Akilov, who is facing a lengthy prison sentence, had requested that his state-appointed lawyer Johan Eriksson be replaced by a Sunni Muslim, saying "only a lawyer of this faith could assert his interests in the best way". "We will get through this together", he said.

Police have withheld the identify of second man who was arrested on April 9 in connection with the case.

"According to the prosecutor, the suspicions have weakened and there is, therefore, no ground to apply for a detention order", it said in a statement.