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Police consider additional offence in Kuopio sword attack case

Investigators are said to be weighing adding the crime of plotting to commit an offence to the charge sheet.

Kuopio koulusurma kaupungintalo suruliputus
A flag flies at half mast at the Kuopio city hall to honour the dead and injured in the attack. Image: Nella Nuora / Yle

Police are said to be investigating the case of a sword attack two weeks ago that killed one woman and injured nine others in Kuopio as the aggravated offence of plotting to cause harm to life or health.

The attack was launched by a young man who used a sabre in the attack on a vocational school temporarily housed in the Herman shopping centre in Kuopio, eastern Finland.

Lead investigator Olli Töyräs of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) told STT news agency that the premeditation involved in the act involved targeting the location as well as people who were not actually harmed in the incident.

In addition to the newly-reported charge of planning to commit a crime, the attack is being investigated as murder, attempted murder and aggravated criminal intent to cause damage. The latter offence is related to a fire that was set at the scene of the attack.

The suspect in the case was also injured when police responded to an emergency alert over the sword attack and was said to still be in hospital last week, along with one of the victims.

The young man was remanded into pre-trial custody after participating from hospital via a video link. Investigator Töyräs told STT that only one injured party is still receiving medical care in hospital, in addition to the suspect.

According to the NBI, police are currently conducting forensic technical and IT investigations. The organisation said on Twitter that it would not comment at this stage on the outcome of questioning or a possible motive for the act.

Police and prosecutors have until 13 February 2020 to lay charges in the case.

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