Deputy Prosecutor General Raija Toiviainen has brought charges in connection with a stabbing spree that took place in Turku, South-west Finland, on 18 August, 2017.
The Moroccan man suspected of the stabbing spree, which left two dead and eight injured, was yesterday charged with two counts of murder committed with terrorist intent and eight counts of attempted murder committed with terrorist intent.
The 23-year-old man has confessed to the stabbings and has been remanded for probable cause of the offences since 22 August. He has, however, stated that he has no genuine recollection of all the stabbings and has refrained from commenting on the allegation that the stabbings were committed with terrorist intent, according to a press release from the Office of the Prosecutor General.
The National Bureau of Investigation (KRP) has described the man as a lone wolf with sympathies towards the self-styled Islamic State.
“He […] saw himself as a soldier of Isis. He saw himself acting on behalf of Isis,” Olli Töyräs, the detective chief inspector in charge of the pre-trial investigation at KRP, commented in a news conference on 7 February, 2018.
KRP also revealed that the pre-trial investigation found no evidence of concrete links between the man and any terrorist organisation.
The man stabbed his first victim at Turku Market Square shortly after 4pm on Friday, 18 August. He was apprehended roughly 450 metres north-east of the square a few minutes later after being shot in the leg by the responding police officers.
The Office of the Prosecutor General states in its press release that his objective is believed to have been to stir up fear among the general population.
The trial proceedings will begin at the District Court of Varsinais-Suomi in Turku on 20 March, 2018.
Helsingin Sanomat writes that a key question in the trial will be whether or not the suspect can be held responsible for his actions. The man was subjected to a psychological evaluation as part of the pre-trial investigation, and the results of the evaluation are likely to be made public during the trial proceedings.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva