Makhachkala, Russia: The remaining suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings has recovered enough to walk and assured his parents in a phone conversation that he and his slain brother were innocent, their mother said on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the father of a Chechen immigrant killed in Florida while being interrogated by the FBI about his ties to the slain brother maintained that the US agents killed his son “execution-style.”
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, walked without a wheelchair to speak to his mother last week for the first and only phone conversation they have had since he has been in custody, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva said.
In a rare glimpse at Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s state of mind, he told her he was getting better and that he had a very good doctor, but was struggling to understand what happened, she said.
“He didn’t hold back his emotions either, as if he were screaming to the whole world: What is this? What’s happening?,” she said.
The April 15 bombings killed three people and wounded more than 260. Elder brother, 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was killed in a shootout with police, and Dzhokhar remains in a prison hospital after being badly wounded.
“I could just feel that he was being driven crazy by the unfairness that happened to us, that they killed our innocent Tamerlan,” their mother said, standing by the family’s insistence that their children are innocent.
The Tsarnaevs met the AP in their new apartment in a 14-story building in a well-to-do area of Makhachkala, the capital of the restive Caucasus province of Dagestan. The apartment had no furniture apart from a TV, a few rugs, and wallpaper materials lying on the floor.
Anzor Tsarnaev, the suspects’ father, said they bought it for Tamerlan, his wife, and their young daughter in the expectation that they would move to Makhachkala later this year. He added that they planned to turn their old home in a dingy district on the outskirts of town into a dentist’s office, so that Dzhokhar, a dental hygiene student, could work out of it after completing his studies.
“All I can do is pray to God and hope that one day fairness will win out, our children will be cleared, and we will at least get Dzhokhar back, crippled, but at least alive,” Tsarnaev said.
Separately, at a news conference in Moscow, the father of a 27-year-old mixed martial arts fighter who was killed during FBI questioning accused agents of being “bandits” who executed his son.
Abdul-Baki Todashev showed journalists 16 photographs that he said were of his son, Ibragim, in a Florida morgue. He said his son had six gunshot wounds to his torso and one to the back of his head and the pictures were taken by his son’s friend, Khusen Taramov.
It was not immediately possible to authenticate the photographs.
The FBI says Todashev was being questioned by an FBI agent and two Massachusetts state troopers about his ties to Tamerlan Tsarnaev, as well as about a 2011 triple slaying in Massachusetts.
Three law enforcement officials said initially that Ibragim Todashev had lunged at the FBI agent with a knife, although two of them later said it was no longer clear what had happened.
The father said his son was “100 per cent unarmed.”