(NEW YORK) — Alleged Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has told his mother that people are sending him money and that someone opened an account for him, according to a new recording of their first phone call from prison.
When his mother asked if he is in pain, Tsarnaev replied in Russian: “No, of course not. I’m already eating and have been for a long time,” according to a translation by Channel 4 in the U.K., which first aired the audio. The call took place last week.
“They are giving me chicken and rice now, everything is fine,” he said.
Tsarnaev also told his mother that he has received at least a “thousand” dollars in a bank account that someone opened for him since his arrest. The mother says the family has also received $8,000 from individuals pledging their support, according to Channel 4.
Tsarnaev’s parents say they have been offered one phone call a month with their son, who is in prison awaiting trial.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was shot and injured during a standoff with police just days after he and his older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, allegedly placed two bombs near the finish line during April’s Boston Marathon.
The explosions killed three people and injured hundreds. Tamerlan was killed — shot by police and then run over by Dzhokhar — as he fled a standoff with cops.
Dzhokhar, 19, has been charged in federal court with using and conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction. If convicted, he faces the death penalty.
Listening to the recording again, his mother, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, is visibly emotional. She said Dzhokhar spent much of the call trying to calm her down.
“Everything is good,” her son assured her.
During the phone conversation, Dzhokhar’s father Anzor told his son they will meet again in heaven.
“The child is in shock, he doesn’t understand what has happened to him,” the father told Channel 4, speaking from their home in Makhachkala, the capital of the restive region of Dagestan, in Russia’s North Caucasus.
Investigators say Tamerlan spent six months in Dagestan last year, where he sought out extremist and militant contacts with modest success. His family insists he was there only to visit family and to pick up a new Russian passport.
The family has dismissed reports that Dzhokhar has confessed to plotting and carrying out the attack during a police interrogation. His mother also denied earlier reports that Dzhokhar had told his parents during the call that he and Tamerlan were innocent.
His parents continued to insist that their sons were set up.
“I know that my kids did not do it,” the mother told Channel 4.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
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