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AKIPRESS.COM - The man Russian investigators say orchestrated a suicide bombing on the St Petersburg metro told a court on Tuesday he was an unwitting accomplice in the attack, in which 14 people were killed and scores injured.
Russian investigators said that before the April 3 attack, the suspected suicide bomber, Akbarzhon Jalilov, had spoken by telephone with Abror Azimov, who the investigators said was helping mastermind the attack from a Moscow suburb, Reuters reported.
At a preliminary court hearing in Moscow, the suspect, Azimov, said he had participated in the preparation of the attack but only indirectly.
"I did not realize that I was helping with this act," he said, referring to the April 3 blast. "I was being given instructions." Dressed in a black jacket and checked shirt, he spoke from a metal cage in the courtroom.
Earlier in the court hearing, a state investigator told the court that Azimov had confessed to having taking part in preparations for the attack, but the suspect said he had not confessed to that.
Since the attack, Russian authorities have detained nine people suspected of involvement. All are originally from Central Asia, a region of five mainly Muslim states that border Afghanistan, Iran and China.
Abror Azimov is originally from the city of Jalal-Abad, in the Central Asian state of Kyrgyzstan. His wife said on Tuesday that Azimov and his brother, Akrom, had been working in a sushi restaurant in the Moscow region. He had been due to return home to Kyrgyzstan in April, but did not make the trip.