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Putin Assassination Plot Suspect Retracts Testimony, Alleges Torture

Adam Osmayev, the Chechen native charged with attempting to kill then-Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in March 2012, retracted all of his earlier testimony in a Ukrainian court and declared that he was tortured into giving it.

His common-law wife, Anina Okuyeva, read out a statement on his behalf Thursday ahead of a court session in Odessa, Interfax reported.

“The testimony was given as a consequence of physical and psychological pressure, placed on me by security services from the moment of my detention: During the examination of the case, I took back, in written form, all of the testimony given earlier and demanded an examination of the fact of torture. Considering all these given facts, in accordance with Article 63 of the Constitution of Ukraine, I am forced to refuse to give an explanation in the court session. I ask you to enter this statement into the case file,” Osmayev said in the statement.

In addition, Okuyeva passed on a statement from Osmayev addressed to the Odessa region prosecutor, Alexander Galkin, saying that torture was used by security service employees against Osmayev during the criminal investigation. More specifically, he says that on Feb. 4, 2012, he was beaten over the head with the handle of a pistol, the butt of a rifle, and kicked and punched. In addition, he says a bag was placed over his head and he was injected with narcotics.

As a result of this, he says, he suffered cracked ribs and was unable to stand up for several months. He said he was told that he would be beaten more if he did not confess to plotting to kill Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov and Putin.  

A judicial panel at the Primorsky District Court of Odessa is reviewing Osmayev’s case Thursday. The last court session was held on Dec. 24, when the court granted Osmayev’s request for a panel of three judges instead of one on the legal grounds that the punishment is more than a decade in prison. Thursday’s session is the first held since the panel was formed.

Osmayev was arrested in Odessa on Feb. 4, 2012, for an explosion that occurred on Jan. 4, when a blast in an apartment building reportedly tipped police off to the assassination plot. In a search conducted after the explosion, police found homemade explosive devices and video of the prime minister, evidence that was later used to build the case. 

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