Kazakh national Dias Kadyrbayev is one of three college friends of
accused bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev charged with hampering the
investigation by going to the suspect's dormitory room three days
after the attack and removing a laptop and backpack containing empty
During four days of hearings at U.S. District Court in Boston last
month, law enforcement officials testified that four days after the
April 15, 2013, blasts that killed three people, armed federal
agents ordered Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov to leave their
apartment and took them to a state police barracks where they were
subjected to hours of questioning.
Kadyrbayev was told to remove his shirt to make sure he had no
hidden weapons, and his lawyer said he was never given an
opportunity to put it back on and complained of being cold during
Kadyrbayev's lawyers argue his statements during that time should
not be admitted at his coming trial because he had no attorney
present and did not understand the consequences of speaking with
agents. One agent testified that Kadyrbayev told him he suspected
Tsarnaev had been involved in the attack.
U.S. District Judge Douglas Woodlock allowed Kadyrbayev's attorneys
to make that case on the condition that their client take the
witness stand and submit to cross-examination by federal
prosecutors. Tazhayakov's attorneys dropped a similar request,
saying they did not want their client to testify ahead of a trial
scheduled to start in September.
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Woodlock also warned prosecutors he would declare a mistrial in the
cases of Tazhayakov and a third friend, Robel Phillipos of
Cambridge, Massachusetts, if he found that their statements to
police had not been voluntary.
Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov, both charged with obstruction of justice,
could face up to 25 years in prison if convicted. Phillipos faces up
to 16 years if convicted of the less serious charge of lying to
Tsarnaev, who is also accused of killing a university police officer
in a shootout three days after the bombings that also injured 264
people, is awaiting trial in a prison west of Boston. He faces the
possibility of execution if convicted.
(Reporting by Scott Malone; editing by Gunna Dickson)
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