Trial of public schoolboy behind plot to kill Vladimir Putin is fixed, warns his wife

Russian security services feared to be  behind charges

Moscow

The wife of a Chechen man on trial for planning Vladimir Putin’s assassination has called on the international community to put pressure on Ukraine to ensure he is given a fair trial.

Adam Osmayev, who spent his teenage years living in the UK, will begin his testimony today to a court in Odessa on charges of terrorist conspiracy that could see him jailed for up to 15 years.

“I have no faith in the independence of this court,” Amina Okuyeva told The Independent from Odessa. “The only way there could be a fair outcome is if international human rights activists and politicians take an interest. It’s clear this court is under pressure from the secret services.”

Mr Osmayev was arrested in Odessa last year after an apparent bomb blast in a rented flat alerted authorities to the use of explosives. He is accused of being under the command of Doku Umarov, an Islamic terrorist leader and Russia’s most wanted man.

According to the prosecution, Mr Osmayev was tasked by Umarov to prepare a terrorist cell in Odessa for onward travel to Moscow, where the men would blow up three cars filled with explosives in the path of Mr Putin’s motorcade some time in spring last year.

Analysts have called the plans fanciful and suggested that the charges were probably fabricated as a pre-election stunt. News of the apparent assassination plan was aired for the first time on Russian state-controlled television last February, just a few days before the presidential election that returned Mr Putin to the Kremlin.

Ms Okuyeva, 29, denies that her husband could have been involved in Islamic extremism, citing his time in the UK as a defining influence on the way he views the world. “He doesn’t like what’s happening in Chechnya and he never hid that, but he has very progressive views,” she said. “We go to the mosque sometimes and I’ve never heard him say anything extremist.”

Ms Okuyeva is a trainee surgeon at a hospital in Odessa. Like Mr Osmayev, she also has Chechen roots. The pair met on a social network for Chechens abroad in 2008, and chatted online before realising they both lived in Odes-sa. A year later, they were married by a local imam in a religious ceremony, though their wedding was never formalised by civil authorities.

The Independent revealed last week that Mr Osmayev spent seven years in the UK, where he took A-levels at an elite boarding school in Gloucestershire before studying economics at the University of Buckingham.

Mr Osmayev linked the charges to his father’s past as an influential businessman, and suggested vendettas within the Russian security services and pro-Kremlin leadership of Chechnya may be behind the case. He refused to talk about the case, but said he would provide evidence to the court tomorrow that would exonerate him. Ms Okuyeva has been combining 24-hour hospital shifts with attendance at the pre-trial hearings, and has set up an online campaign with the goal of drawing more attention to the case.

At a hearing last week, she sat in the front row of the small courtroom, waving and smiling at Mr Osmayev, who was locked up behind black metal bars in the defendant’s cage and surrounded by armed police.

Mr Osmayev initially confessed to the plot, but later rescinded his testimony. He told The Independent that he had only admitted his involvement after threats and torture at the hands of police and special forces.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity takes him behind the bars again
tvBy Reason of Insanity, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Sport
Seth Rollins cashes in his Money in the Bank contract to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
WWERollins win the WWE World Heavyweight title in one of the greatest WrestleMania's ever seen
News
news
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Call Handler

£14500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a Sales Ca...

Recruitment Genius: Support Worker

£14560 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers unique pers...

Recruitment Genius: Junior Web Designer - Client Liaison

£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...

Recruitment Genius: Service Delivery Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor