Moscow: Nanny says 'Allah ordered' her to behead child

From MailOnline

By Will Stewart and Julian Robinson

A nanny accused of murdering a child in her care and brandishing the child's severed head outside a metro station smiled after admitting 'Allah ordered' her to carry out the act.

Gulchekhra Bobokulova, a 38-year-old mother of three sons, also replied 'yes' when asked if she accepted her guilt as she entered the courtroom in Moscow, Russia.

In scenes that shocked the world, the hijab-wearing nanny was seen walking the streets of Moscow brandishing the head of Nastya Meshcheryakova for an hour before she was detained by police.

Her appearance in court comes a day after a police source revealed the babysitter had kept her schizophrenia a secret and was 'kicked on to the streets' after a divorce.

New pictures have also emerged showing the inside of the flat where the four-year-old's headless body was discovered.

The girl's father Vladimir Mesheryakov said today there were 'no words to describe the feeling of hatred, weakness and helplessness' his family felt. 

He said: 'Everyone, perhaps, knows about our terrible grief. There are no words to describe the feeling of hatred, weakness and helplessness.

'There is no way to understand the insanity that surrounds our world but I am sure that there are people who went through something similar - and I am grieving for Nastya with them.' 

He also begged residents to help find the family's dog - loved by little Nastya - which went missing during the blaze Bobokulova started at their flat. 

As she walked into court today, Bobokulova, who the Russian press has dubbed 'the bloody nanny' was asked if she wanted the parents of the girl to forgive her. She replied, pointing her finger to the sky: 'I will ask nobody. Only Allah'.

Another journalist asked her: 'What did Allah order you to do?' She replied: 'To kill.'

The judge Tatyana Vasyuchenko told the court that Bobokulova stabbed the girl causing her 'mortal neck injuries', and then beheaded her.

Earlier, it was reported that she had been strangled before the beheading. 

And asked in court if she pleaded guilty, she nodded yes. Questioned if she felt sorry about the girl, she shook her head, evidently meaning no. Inside the court cage, she smiled and waved to journalists.  

Speaking in broken Russian from the suspect's cage, Bobokulova said: 'Allah is sending a second prophet to give news of peace' and also complained that she was 'hungry', had not been fed and would 'die in a week'.

'Hi to everyone,' she said, waving at the crowd of journalists in the courtroom.

Investigator Olga Lapteva, who was clearly emotional, told the court that Bobokulova was suspected of committing an 'extremely serious crime' and that she should face 'a mandatory prison sentence of considerably more than three years.'

It has also emerged today that a mystery boyfriend may have been with her in the apartment at the time the child, Nastya Meshcheryakova, was killed.

Police apparently now believe that she was not the instigator of the crime. 

She has confessed to killing the child but police are now searching for the mystery man who evidently had a relationship with her - and is suspected of radicalising her. 

It was revealed today that police suspect a boyfriend or husband visited her at the Meshcheryakov family flat on the day the girl was killed.

Moscow police are urgently seeking the nanny's boyfriend or unofficial husband named as Mamur Dzhirakulov, 46. 

The child was killed between 8am and 8.40am so it suggests an early visit and police are 'checking if it is true that a stranger was in the flat at that time and if he has something to do with the murder'.

An investigator told the court: 'The accomplices of the suspect, or we better say the instigators, are currently at large.'

One theory is that the woman is mentally ill and that she may have been exploited by a man or men she knew.

It is believed she had a serious argument with her current partner on the phone the day before the murder.

A relative of the dead girl said that Bobokulova - known as Gulya to the family - had married a man during a trip to Uzbekistan around 18 months ago.

'Gulya seriously changed after this,' said the relative. She started wearing hijab, she began to pray in her room.

'Before she was never religious, she wore ordinary clothes, sports clothes, shirts. But when he left the flat, she always put on a hijab.'

Nastya's mother Ekaterina - or Katya - treated the change 'with understanding - it was Gulya's religion'.

'I know she was arguing with her new husband on phone very often recently,' said the relative.

'The day before the murder they had a particularly loud argument that Katya even asked Gulya to slow down.'

Bobokulova had been registered at a psychiatric clinic in her homeland Uzbekistan - and her condition had been deteriorating in recent months, the source said. 

Pictures emerged yesterday of her being interrogated in a police station in the Russian capital as conflicting reports continued to emerge about her personal life. 

Escorted by armed police, handcuffed Bobokulova - herself a mother of three - earlier showed officers the Moscow flat where she apparently strangled Nastya , who had learning difficulties, before cutting off her head with a kitchen knife. The little girl’s remains were left in her cot. 

It emerged yesterday that the nanny had been married for 12 years and divorced 'not long ago' in her native Uzbekistan, according to LifeNews, which obtained brief footage of her confused interrogation in a Moscow police station.

After the marriage she was 'kicked into the street', it was claimed, with her three children all going to different relatives in the Samarkand region of Uzbekistan.

She met a new partner a year ago, and agreed to be his 'second, unofficial wife' but four months ago he returned to his home country and she has not seen him since. 

'My second husband was born in 1967. I was just seeing him,' she said. 'But he hasn't been around for four months, he left.

'He took me as his second wife and is now living with his first wife. I have no husband officially now. My first husband was born in 1975.'

Meanwhile, MK claimed that Bobokulova's relatives have undergone interrogation in a village in Samarkand region.

A police source in the ex-Soviet republic said: 'The parents of Bobokulova and her husband were called to police for interrogation.

'They spent full day in police, and on Tuesday morning the interrogation continued. 

The woman - a citizen of Uzbekistan - is seen talking to police, and appears to understand where and why she is at the location

'I can tell you only one thing - the relatives are shocked with the cruel murder but they were not surprised. They know very well why Gyulchekhra did it.'

He continued: 'Everybody here knew Gyulchekhra. She was a strange woman, to put it mildly.

'There is an explanation: she had schizophrenia. She was registered in the local psychiatric clinic for a long time and had special medical documents. Everybody knew it.

'She failed to find a job here for this very reason. Strange things often happened to her in spring time. Her parents watched her and tried to send her to the psychiatric clinic when spring came.

'Her condition was gradually deteriorating. Before it was not that noticeable but as time was going, it got worse.'

He claimed that 15 years ago she was in hospital for two years, and she had been back since.

'Soon after that she left for Moscow and easily found a job there. She often visited her family, for new year and other holidays.

'Probably she fooled the medical commission in Russia, if she had to face it.

'People here were talking about it. She did not take any medical documents with her. She did not tell anybody about her condition.'

He said she had three children, in their late teens or early 20s.

'She did not live with her husband for good while. In 2000 Gyulchekhra was officially registered as an insane.

'She was very ill then, she often suffered from attacks. It was dangerous to live with her, so her husband Radmin left her.

'Officially they divorced in 2002. Radmin quickly remarried, and he has two more children. The eldest son lives with Gyulchekhra's parents, the younger ones are with their father.

'So Radmin and his second wife take care of four children. Radmin is not working now, neither his wife. It is very hard to find a job here now. Gyulchekhra did not support her relatives with money.'

The policeman added: 'I don't know what her parents think now. The daughter was not under their control for a long time. All villagers are talking about it now but they are surprised she did not do anything like that before.'  

Bobokulova is believed to be co-operating with investigators and showed how she killed the child, with sources saying she strangled the girl before using a kitchen knife to behead her.

She shouted 'I am a terrorist' and threatened to cause an explosion but, despite the FSB security service leading the probe, the Russians so far have no evidence of a link to extremist groupings.

Bobokulova was taken to the flat in western Moscow at around midnight - only 16 hours after the appalling killing to which - say police sources - she has confessed.

'Initially, she seemed insane, but then agreed to the investigative experiment,' said a police source.

'She was brought to the apartment where the murder was committed. She pointed to the block, the entrance and the apartment by herself.'

The woman - a citizen of Uzbekistan - is seen talking to police, and appears to understand where and why she is at the location.

She spoke to her police escorts but was only overheard once, saying: 'Here is the house, that way.'

She entered the block with officers who escorted her to the fifth floor flat where she lived with the Meshcheryakov family whose daughter was killed.

A police source claimed she said: 'I came here and took off my skirt, threw it in a rubbish bin. Got changed into what we wear to have prayer. A voice told me to wear so.'

As she came out a women in the crowd shouted: 'You killed a child! Your head needs to be torn off!'

Police tried to calm the woman as Bobokulova was bundled into a police van.

A source told LifeNews: 'In her first testimony Bobokulova said that just over a month ago, she went to her homeland, to Uzbekistan to renew her passport.

'When she got to her home, she learned that her husband had started a new family. She was invited to become a second wife. In total, she spent 25 days there.'

It is reported that when she returned to Russia, she complained to Nastya's family about her spouse, accusing him of cheating on her.

The family problems caused her 'acute manic psychosis', claimed the report.

Nastya's parents, Vladimir and Ekaterina, noticed her 'unstable mind' but believed it was caused by fatigue, according to one account.

The nanny had worked for the family in Moscow for around three years.

A family friend denied that Ekaterina - known as Katya - had noticed anything strange in the nanny's behaviour.

'Believe me, if something was wrong, Katya would not miss this moment,' she said. 'She is a shrewd woman, she would notice.

'She trusted Gyulchekhra fully. More than this she considered her family member. Everyone called her just Gulya.

'They all lived in one flat. That is why Katya and Vladimir rented a big flat with two bedrooms, so they all had enough space.'

The friend told MK newspaper that the nanny had looked after the child since she was a baby.

'The child was seriously ill. Katya simply could not cope by herself,' she said.

They hired the nanny 'on recommendation' and she had previously worked for another Moscow family.

'She had the best recommendations. Do you think that Katya would have entrusted the child to some unreliable people? She checked the woman on all counts.

'Many famous people hire Tajiks or Uzbeks as nannies. They care for children very well. Any child care agency will confim this.

'So what happened does not fit in our heads. And the parents have no answer why Gulya did this.

'How was it possible to live with the child, and then burn the house down and kill her? And after all that to go out and shout: 'I am a terrorist?'

'Gulya herself is a mother of three. Her children live in Uzbekistan. There were no jobs there, so she worked in Moscow and sent them money home.'

Mother Ekaterina and father Vladimir Meshcheryakov of four-year-old Anastasia  

She did not normally wear a hijab.

'We were surprised when we saw the pictures near the metro. Where did Gulya take all these rags?

'Most of our friends have never seen even a scarf on her. But those who are very close to Katya and Vladimir said that she had these clothes.

'She kept it in a wardrobe and wore it very rarely. She was not very religious. It was said that she prays, but quietly, not for show. We all thought that she loved Nastya as her own child.'

She added: 'The parents state can not be described in words. This is a terrible grief for their family.

'Katya is very bad. I do not know how long it will take her to get over this.'

Investigators claim she murdered the girl after starting a fire at the child's family home in a block of flats. 

They say she then murdered the girl and left, before heading to the metro station.

According to local media, Bobokulova shouted in the street: 'I hate democracy. I am a terrorist. I want you dead.

'You have become so hardened, you have eliminated so many of us. Look I am a suicide bomber, I will die, doomsday will come in a second.'

She pulled the severed head out of a bag and walked near the metro station entrance in north-west Moscow. 

Video of the dead girl's mother, Ekaterina Meshcheryakova, collapsing in the street upon hearing the horrific news has emerged. She was taken to hospital in an unconscious condition.

Anastasia also had a father, Vladimir Meshcheryakov, who is a technician at a mobile phone company, and a brother Konstantin, 15.

The main entrance to the block of flats was being guarded by armed police yesterday.

Eyewitness Alexandra Shuvalova, a student from the capital, said: 'When I got close to the metro, I saw a woman running along the street.

'I could see that she had hair in her hands or something like that.

'She was waving this thing and screaming something and drawing some shapes in the air.

'This woman either had a birthmark or a wart on her right cheek. It was a distinctive feature because she was dressed in entirely in black.

'I realised it wasn't a wig as I thought initially, but a head - that's why blood was dripping on her shoes and skirt.

'I stopped, had a cigarette, tried to get my breath back to normal because I was so shocked.'

She claimed a security guard and two policeman missed the chance to detain her.

Alexandra added: 'People ran away from her. I saw five people fleeing. And no one tried to stop her - not security guards at a cafe, nor at a shop.

'One of the guards who saw her, ran to the building to tell someone about her. He didn't try to do anything on his own.'

'I heard her yelling 'Allah Akbar' at least three times. And hitting herself on her chest.

'She was yelling something in her language. She ran to a cafe and started shouting: 'It's all you! All you!' 

The station was closed to passengers for some time, but no explosives were found on her. 

Another eyewitness said: 'She came to the entrance of the metro station Oktyabrskoye Pole with a red bag, from which she pulled out the child's head.

Emergency services had earlier been called to an apartment nearby amid reports of black smoke billowing out windows

'She walked down the street for a long time and was shouting something. But no one challenged her. Everyone was afraid.'  

Dramatic footage shows the moment police sprinted in towards the woman and tackled her to the ground. 

Emergency services had earlier been called to an apartment nearby amid reports of black smoke billowing out of windows. 

Witness Alyona Kuratova told independent Dozhd TV that the woman was holding the head by its hair.

Kuratova described scenes of chaos, with police cars and ambulances arriving at the scene and some people yelling: 'terror attack, terror attack.'

She said she could not make out what the woman shouted but some media reported that she yelled 'Allah Akbar''- Arabic for 'God is greatest' - and threatened to blow herself up.

The dead girl suffered damage because of birth problems in August 2011.

The family took her for treatment to China - and were saving money to travel for subsequent care in Germany. 

The parents told police the nanny had been working for them for 18 months.

Sources say the babysitter told interrogators she did not want to hide from police, and aimed to draw maximum attention to what she has done.

She had not intended to ignite the flat deliberately and destroy evidence, she said, according to the source, and wanted the parents to know who had killed their daughter. 

The woman had a valid residency permit for Russia but was working illegally. She had no work permit, said officials. 

The nanny faces up to 20 years in jail if she is deemed psychologically fit to stand trial. 

Last night the investigation was taken over by the FSB, Russia's powerful domestic secret service, once headed by Vladimir Putin. Police are not currently treating the incident as terrorism.

LifeNews claimed: 'Investigators suspect that Gulchekhra had manic psychosis developing for a period of time.'

A law enforcement source said the woman was suspected of handling 'explosive elements' at the flat which was engulfed in flames.

But 'it might be an inflammable liquid that she used to set the apartment on fire where she killed four-year-old Nastya M.'

The security services are hunting for the woman's husband. A source said she may have been on 'light drugs'.

Russia's children's rights commissioner Pavel Astakhov called the killing 'Monstrous and inexplicable', urging parents to carefully check on the mental state of nannies when they are hired.

Meanwhile, Nastya's father Vladimir Mesheryakov today spoke for the first time about the family's loss and appealed for members of the public to help find the family's dog which fled during the fire.

'I am grateful to residents of Khoroshovo-Mnyovniki (their district) and have a big favour to ask them. Our dog escaped during fire.

'She's also member of our family, we love her a lot and we will be very grateful for help in her search...'

The family's pet Chihuahua called Lyusya was lost after the fire that engulfed the flat.

Friends have put notices around the neighbourhood in a search to find a dog loved by Nastya. 


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