The father of a friend of Tamerlan Tsarnaev fatally shot in May by a Boston FBI agent said today he is seeking a civil suit against the agency for his son’s death.
Abdulbaki Todashev, father of Ibragim Todashev, said in a telephone interview from Florida that he was meeting with lawyers and human rights groups “to prepare a civil suit against the FBI for wrongful death.”
Ibragim Todashev, 27, was in his Orlando apartment during an interrogation authorities have said was connected to Tsarnaev, who, with his brother Dzokhar, is suspected of carrying out the Boston Marathon bombing.
The father said he did not want to wait for the results of the FBI’s internal investigation into the shooting of his son.
“At this point, I don’t care about their reasons for shooting my son,” he said. “I don’t believe them, because they committed an unprecedented act of murder, and these people need to be tried and judged.”
“As for why they did this and that, I only know that this was a premeditated intentional murder,” he said.
The FBI has released little information about what led the agent to shoot Todashev, except to allege that the Chechen man was shot after he initiated a violent altercation.
According to media reports, Todashev was about to sign a confession implicating himself and Tsarnaev in the 2011 slayings of three men in Waltham.
Todashev, who came to the United States in 2008 and received political asylum that year, had lived in Cambridge and Allston before moving to Florida, and was close to Tsarnaev, whose father is also an ethnic Chechen.
Tsarnaev, 26, died after a police shootout days after the Marathon bombings, which killed three people and wounded more than 260. His brother, Dzhokhar, 20, is facing federal charges related to the explosions. The brothers also allegedly killed an MIT police officer.
Abdulbaki Todashev, a city official in Grozny, the capital of the southern Russian region of Chechnya, traveled to the United States on Sunday, hoping to get answers about his son’s case.
“I couldn’t leave what happened to my son unanswered,” he said Tuesday during a break from a meeting with his lawyers. “I don’t know the laws so I am consulting with lawyers.”
Todashev said Saturday he was frustrated by the bureau’s refusal to allow Florida medical examiners to release an autopsy report completed in early July. Todashev said he feared the FBI would somehow tamper with the results.
“If there is a medical examiner’s report, do they have to report to the FBI?,” Todashev said in a telephone interview from Moscow. “Does the FBI have the right to block the father from receiving it? What kind of conclusion will there be, if the FBI is in charge of it?”
Todashev disputed the possibility that his son, who according to family members and advocates had previously been questioned numerous times by authorities, could have attacked investigators in a way that would have forced them to kill him.
Ibragim, a mixed martial arts fighter, was recovering from knee surgery and incapable of quick movement, he said, and only weighed about 154 pounds.
“There were three people in a room and my son by himself,” he said. “The FBI and police usually select healthy, big guys. If they were in danger they could have stopped him, wounded him, shot him in an arm or a leg, used a Taser. This is an unprecedented, premeditated, and intentional murder because they shot him in the heart and the head.”
At a May news conference in Moscow, Todashev showed journalists pictures that he said depicted his son’s body with seven bullet wounds. He traveled to the United States in June to repatriate his son’s body.