STOCKHOLM - Suspected Stockholm truck attacker Rakhmat Akilov, a 39-year-old Uzbek and jihadist sympathiser, admitted Tuesday to committing a "terrorist crime" by mowing down pedestrians on a busy street, killing four people and injuring 15 others. "Akilov confesses to a terrorist crime and accepts his custody detention," his lawyer Johan Eriksson told a custody hearing in a Stockholm district court.  Arrested in a Stockholm suburb just hours after Friday's attack, Akilov appeared in a special heavily-guarded high-security courtroom. Handcuffed and wearing a thick green hoodie over his head, he kept his head bowed down. Judge Malou Lindblom ordered him to remove the hoodie and he complied, revealing dark hair with streaks of grey. Akilov, a Russian speaker, had an interpreter at his side to help him follow the proceedings. He did not address the court directly. After Eriksson's statement, the judge agreed to the prosecution's request to have the rest of the hearing held behind closed doors due to the classified nature of the information in the investigation.

After about an hour, journalists were readmitted into the courtroom and the judge remanded Akilov in custody. 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". The court refused the request.