‘No idea I was acting for terrorists,’ St. Petersburg attack suspect tells court
“I have no objections to the arrest. But I didn’t say that I was connected to the explosion. I did participate, but not directly. I was given an order. I wasn’t aware that I was participating in a terrorist activity,” Abror Azimov, detained Monday by Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), told the Basmanny District Court in Moscow, according to RIA Novosti.
Azimov, however, did not specify what kind of order he had received or who it was from.
The preliminary investigation has established that Azimov was in touch with the perpetrator of the bombing, Akbardzhon Dzhalilov, an arrest warrant announced in court said, according to Interfax.
Dzhalilov planted the bomb on the metro train and was killed in the attack, although it is still being investigated whether he was a suicide bomber or the device was set off remotely.
“Dzhalilov called the suspected organizers of the attack and their accomplices, including Azimov, by mobile phone,” the court said.
In addition, a witness has testified against Azimov, while search records also reportedly confirmed Azimov’s implication in the attack.
Azimov was detained on April 17 in the town of Odintsovo, not far from Moscow. During the arrest, he was discovered to be carrying a combat pistol and ammunition. The video of the operation was made public by the FSB.
Eight people suspected of involvement in the St. Petersburg terrorist attack have been detained in April, according to the Russian Investigative Committee. Six were arrested in St. Petersburg and two others in Moscow.
Searches in the detained suspects’ homes uncovered firearms, bullets, and a self-made explosive device similar to the one found in the St. Petersburg Metro.
The terrorist attack rocked the underground system in Russia’s second city between the Sennaya Ploshchad and Tekhnologichesky Intitut metro stations on April 3. Fourteen people were killed and dozens more were injured.
A second explosive device found at the Ploshchad Vosstaniya station failed to detonate. It was promptly defused.