Putin death plot suspect retracts testimony
Kiev: Adam Osmayev, a suspect in an alleged plot to assassinate Russian President Vladimir Putin, on Thursday claimed torture and retracted his earlier testimony as having been made under duress.
Osmayev, who is currently on trial in Ukraine, sent his retraction in a letter to Odessa district judge Viktor Pyslar and Odessa region prosecutor Oleksandr Halkin, the Unian news agency reported.
His wife, Anina Okuyeva, presented a copy of the letter to reporters.
Osmayev said he was subjected to physical and psychological harassment during the pre-trial investigation, which forced him to confess to the plot.
He said Ukrainian state security officers hit him repeatedly on the head, put a plastic bag over his head, injected him with narcotic substances and threatened further torture unless he confessed to planning to assassinate Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov and Putin.
Ukrainian law enforcement agencies put a host of charges against Osmayev, from planning a terrorist attack to forging documents.
Osmayev has only admitted to entering Ukraine on a false passport.
Osmayev and a second suspect, Ilya Pyanzin, were detained in the port city of Odessa after a fellow suspect was killed in an apartment explosion there last January.
They confessed shortly afterward to planning to murder Putin at the orders of Chechen warlord Doku Umarov.
The men were then charged with forming a terrorist group and plotting a terrorist attack.
Ukraine suspended Osmayev's extradition to Russia pending his appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.
The Russian-born suspect, who has renounced his Russian citizenship, has applied for refugee status in Georgia and Finland.