A man accused of organizing the St Petersburg metro bombing has admitted indirect involvement but denied masterminding the attack that killed 14 people.
Abror Azimov, a Kyrgyz-born Russian citizen, told a Moscow court on Wednesday that he had “followed instructions” from others involved in the April 3 attack but had not been aware he was involved in terrorism.
“I am not appealing the arrest, but what the investigator said about me admitting guilt is inaccurate. I was involved, but not directly. I wasn’t aware of what I was doing, I was given commands and I followed them,” he said at a hearing in the Bassmany District Court.
Earlier Russian media quoted Mr Azimov’s lawyer saying his client had “fully admitted” his guilt.
Fourteen people died and at least 64 were injured when a terrorist bomb exploded on a St Petersburg metro carriage as it traveled between the city’s Sennaya Ploshchad and Technologcheski Institut stations.
A second device was found and defused at the busy Ploshchad Vosstanaya station.
No group has claimed responsibility for the bombing, which was the worst attack on a Russian underground system since a double suicide bombing on the Moscow metro in 2010.
Investigators have named Akbarzhon Jalilov, a 22 year old Kyrgyzstan-born man who held Russian citizenship, as the perpetrator.
Mr Azimov, 26, was arrested in Odintsovo, a town just outside Moscow, on Monday night.
Footage released by the the Federal Security Service, Russia’s main successor to the KGB, showed investigators leaping from a van and wresting a man to the ground before pulling a pistol from his belt.
The FSB said in a statement Mr Azimov was one of the organizers of the attack and helped train the attacker.
The court later ordered Mr Azimov held in detention until June 3 as investigations continue.
Cases have been opened against eight suspects arrested in Moscow and St Petersburg in the aftermath of the attack.