A nanny from Uzbekistan who is accused of killing and decapitating a 4-year-old girl in Moscow was not acting on her own, Russian prosecutors told the court Wednesday, amid speculation that the government is trying to black out coverage of the story.
The 38-year-old woman was spotted outside a Moscow subway station on Monday brandishing the child's head — a horrific scene that Russian state television didn't cover.
Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman denied that the news was withheld at the request of the Kremlin or out of concerns that the killing could stoke ethnic tensions in a country with many Muslim citizens and migrant workers.
“It’s not like that. The broadcasters themselves chose not to show insanity. But we support their decision,” Vladimir Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov said Tuesday.
Earlier, two employees of federal channels – who were not identified – told the Russian newspaper RBK that the news blackout was ordered by the government, The Telegraph reports.
Before a Moscow court approved Gulchekhra Bobokulova's arrest for two months, prosecutors told the court Wednesday they believe there are individuals who "incited" her to carry out the slaying and they are still at large. The suspect is expected to be charged with murder later this week.
Investigators, however, said earlier that the suspect, who is married, appeared to be mentally unstable.
The motive for the slaying is not known. Bobokulova was the child's nanny, and the child's parents are a middle-class couple, seemingly without government connections or influence.
The nanny's religion was not known but she wore a head covering and some witnesses said she shouted "Allahu akbar!" while waving the bloody head. In videos posted on Russian news websites, she was heard shouting "I am a terrorist!" in Russian.
When asked by a reporter outside the courtroom Wednesday why she killed the child, Bobokulova, who did not wear headscarf this time, replied "Allah ordered" as she walked by.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.