St Petersburg attack: Suspect says he only ‘followed orders’

Abror Azimov in the defendant's cage at a court hearing in MoscowAbror Azimov appeared in court on Tuesday

A suspect arrested in Russia on Monday has denied he was behind the St Petersburg metro bombing that killed 14 people, Russia media say.

Abror Azimov, who is reported to be from Kyrgyzstan, said he simply “followed” instructions, and “did not realise” what he was doing.

It came shortly after his lawyer told Russian media he had “fully confessed” to organising the blasts.

A total of nine people have been detained over the 3 April attack.

Suicide bomber Kyrgyz-born Russian Akbarzhon Jalilov, 22, detonated a bomb between two metro stations.

More than 50 people were injured by the blast.

Russian security services previously said they believed Abror Azimov had trained Jalilov ahead of the bombing.

However, speaking in court on Tuesday, Mr Azimov said he “was involved, but not directly”.

He denied ever having confessed to organising the attack.

“I did not realise what I was doing. I was given orders, and I only followed them.”

Police had found Mr Azimov by examining Jalilov’s phone contacts, Russian newspaper Kommersant said, citing sources.

Mr Azimov bought two new mobile phones and Sim cards on Monday, but gave away his location to security forces when he activated one of the cards, Kommersant added.

The other eight people detained in connection with the attack – six in St Petersburg and two in Moscow – are also from Central Asia.

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