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

Russian security services feared to be  behind charges


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
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Jay Z has placed a bet on streaming being the future for music and videos
Arts and Entertainment
Festival-goers soak up the atmosphere at Glastonbury
Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Project Implementation Executive

£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Chiropractic Assistant

£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive - Midlands

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own