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Oslo court extends detention of 17-year-old terror suspect

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Oslo court extends detention of 17-year-old terror suspect
Defence counsel Aase Karine Sigmond to alks to media following the hearing Monday. Photo: Håkon Mosvold Larsen/NTB scanpix
16:37 CEST+02:00
The teenage Russian citizen arrested in Oslo in possession of explosive materials earlier this month has been remanded in custody for a further two weeks.

Visitations and media access to the suspect will remain restricted during the extended period, reports NRK.

Norway's Police Security Service (PST) requested that the detainment hearing against the suspect at Oslo District Court Monday be held behind closed doors, stating that there were “strong” suspicions against him.

“We believe there is a significant risk of forfeiting evidence if he is released now. The investigation is fully underway, but we are still at an early stage. Suspicions against him have increased since the investigation began,” police lawyer Kathrine Tonstad told NRK.

Tonstad declined to elaborate upon the reasons behind the strengthened suspicion against the teenager, but said that key to the investigation was uncovering his motive for carrying the explosive material through Oslo's Grønland district.

After around two hours of negotiation the police request for extending the detainment of the teenager was approved, reports NRK.

The suspect is currently undecided as to whether to appeal the decision, according to the broadcaster.

Aase Karine Sigmond, defence counsel for the suspect, told NRK that her client maintains his innocence and says he had no intention of harming anyone.

“I requested for him to be released. I cannot see any risk of compromising evidence. He denies the charges and has maintained this from the first hearing,” Sigmond told NRK.

The 17-year-old Russian citizen was arrested on April 9th – two days after a deadly terrorist attack in neighbouring Sweden – when police were tipped off by the public.

He was found in possession of a bomb-like device, which police later described as containing lighter gas and nails.

The boy claimed that he intended to detonate the device at a ‘deserted' spot.

He was later reported to have shown interest in terror group Islamic State on social media, and police were previously warned of his suspicious behaviour by acquaintances, writes NRK.

The teenager denies having contacted Islamic extremists. 

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