Suspect in Putin murder plot withdraws confession

The chief suspect being tried in Ukraine over an alleged plot to kill Russian President Vladimir Putin has withdrawn his confession, claiming he was tortured, a news report said on Thursday.

Days before last year's presidential elections, Russian state television disclosed an alleged plan to bomb Putin's motorcade, airing a confession by a man from Russia's volatile region of Chechnya.

The man, Adam Osmayev, who had been detained in the Ukrainian port of Odessa, said in a statement distributed in an Odessa court on Thursday that authorities had resorted to torture to extract confession.

"The statements have been received as a result of physical and psychological pressure which the law enforcement services have put me under since the moment I was detained," the Interfax news agency quoted Osmayev as saying.

He said he had withdrawn his confession in writing, requesting that authorities investigate the instances of torture.

In a separate complaint written to the prosecutor of the Odessa region, Osmayev accused employees of Ukraine's state security service of beating and kicking him, putting a plastic bag over his head and pumping him with drugs on February 4, 2012, the day he was detained.

As a result of the beating, he could not get up for several months because of severe pain, he said, Interfax reported.

Ukraine's state security service, the SBU, declined to comment.

During interrogation he also came under pressure and was told he would face more beating if he did not confess to plotting to kill Putin and Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, Osmayev was quoted as saying.

A second arrested suspect, Ilya Pyanzin, was extradited to Russia last August.

Moscow also requested Osmayev's extradition but the Chechen asked the European Court of Human Rights to rule on the legitimacy of Russia's request and had his request quickly accepted.

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