Investigative Committee believes Accused Daria Trepova knew gift she presented to military blogger Vladlen Tatarsky was a bomb
Russian investigators have submitted to the court their findings in relation to the terrorist attack in April in St Petersburg that took the life of war correspondent Maxim Fomin, also known as Vladlen Tatarsky, and injured dozens.
According to a video statement published by the Russian Investigative Committee (SK) on Tuesday, the investigation of the criminal case against Daria Trepova –the main suspect in the case– has been completed.
The 26-year-old has been accused of committing a terrorist act, of illegally trafficking in explosive devices and of using a knowingly forged document to conceal another crime. Investigators have also accused a man named Dmitry Kasintsev of abetting Trepova by attempting to conceal her after the attack, and of trying to mislead law enforcement officials.
Investigators believe that, on April 2 in St Petersburg, Trepova, acting on instructions from her handlers in Ukraine, brought a statuette to a cafe where Tatarsky, a reporter and blogger, was holding an event for his followers. Trepova then presented the journalist with the statue, which then blew up, killing Tatarsky and injuring 52 attendees at the event.
Following her arrest, Trepova reportedly agreed to cooperate with investigators to help identify everyone involved in the plot. However, she has repeatedly insisted that she was unaware that the statuette had contained an explosive device and pleaded that she was tricked. In a court hearing in April, she admitted that she “deeply regretted” what happened and noted that she herself had survived the attack by accident.
Nevertheless, in July, the head of SK, Aleksandr Bastrykin, announced that the committee had finalized charges against Trepova, who he also accused of “cynicism and cruelty.” Bastrykin insisted that the woman was lying to investigators and, in fact, had known that she delivered a disguised bomb.
If convicted, Trepova faces up to 20 years in prison.
The SK statement noted that the terrorist attack had been in preparation for a long time in Ukraine by citizens who “did not agree with the conduct of a special military operation by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.” Investigators concluded that the attack was meant to intimidate the population, to induce them to renounce their approval of the goals and objectives of Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine, as well as to “discredit activities of government bodies of the Russian Federation.”
The SK noted that it is still investigating the journalist Roman Popkov, who currently lives in Ukraine, and a Ukrainian citizen named Yuri Denisov. Both men have been placed on the international wanted list and are believed to have been involved in organizing the attack on Tatarsky in April.
October 10, 2023 at 04:39PM