The National Bureau of Investigation (KRP) has released from remand two men who were initially suspected of involvement in a deadly knife attack in Turku, South-west Finland, on 18 August, 2017.
Both of the men were detained roughly a week ago on reasonable suspicion of being complicit in the suspected terror attack that left two dead and eight wounded. Neither of them is any longer suspected of any criminal activity, states KRP.
“Police no longer have the possibility or grounds to keep them on remand, and they were taken off the suspect list,” Olli Töyräs, the detective inspector in charge of the pre-trial investigation at KRP, told Helsingin Sanomat on Tuesday.
“They’re free men as far as the police are concerned. We’ll take advantage of their statements, views and information in the pre-trial investigation going forward,” he added to the newspaper.
The District Court of Varsinais-Suomi on 22 August detained a total of four men on suspicion of involvement in the attack. Two of them remain on remand, one having been detained for probable cause of two murders and eight attempted murders committed with terrorist intent, and the other on suspicion of being complicit in the murders and attempted murders.
The main suspect confessed in his remand hearing to having killed two and wounded eight, but rejected the claim that the act had been premeditated.
The second suspect on remand has denied having any part in the attack throughout the pre-trial investigation.
Kari Ek, the defence counsel of one of the men released on Tuesday, estimated in an interview with Helsingin Sanomat that his client was detained because he had shared a room with the main suspect at the Pansio Reception Centre in Turku. “My client’s origin and housing arrangement prompted the police to start looking into whether or not he had any role in the events,” he stated.
All four men who have been detained during the course of the pre-trial investigation are from Morocco.
Ek added that he is concerned about the safety of the two men released from remand because several media outlets decided to disclose the names of all four men who were detained on suspicion of involvement in the attack on 22 August.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva