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 told the Associated Press 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 U.S. 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 told the AP.
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. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s 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.
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.
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 percent unarmed.”