‘We don’t know who has brainwashed him,’ Saipova told RFE. ‘Perhaps he’s become part of some organized group. I don’t know, honestly, how long it will take for his head to get rid of that poison, but I’m sure he will come to his senses, God willing.’
Trump has tweeted of Saipov: ‘should move fast. DEATH PENALTY!’
Saipova told RFE she and her family hoped her brother would not be sentenced to death in some rushed show trial.
Amid unconfirmed reports that the Uzbek authorities are questioning her family, she added that she did not know where her father and uncle were.
She told RFE she had spoken to her brother the day before the New York attack.
‘He was in a good mood. It was a usual, good conversation,’ she was cited as saying.
According to Daily Mail, Moments before Saipov carried out the attack he called Mukhammadzoir Kadirov, a friend of the attacker. The discussion between the two, who authorities describe as friends, remains unknown, according to ABC News.
Kadirov voluntarily came into questioning on Wednesday after authorities released his picture to the media. He is currently not being treated as a suspect.
Saipov, a 29-year-old Uzbekistan immigrant who has been living in New Jersey, was charged Wednesday with committing the attack in the name of the Islamic State militant group.
U.S. law enforcement officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, separately on Wednesday said Saipov had been in contact with Kadirov and one other person.