The man, Robel Phillipos, is due in court on Tuesday for a final
hearing before his trial starts on Sept. 29. U.S. prosecutors
contend that Phillipos and two Kazakh exchange students, who were
also friends of accused bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, went to Tsarnaev's
college dorm room three days after the April 15, 2013 bombing and
removed a laptop computer and backpack containing empty fireworks
One of the other two men, Azamat Tazhayakov, was found guilty in
July of obstruction of justice for the visit and the second, Dias
Kadyrbayev, in August pleaded guilty to that charge.
Phillipos faces the lesser charge of lying to investigators, and
could face a sentence of up to 16 years in prison if convicted.
His lawyers on Monday asked U.S. District Judge Douglas Woodlock to
move the trial out of Boston, saying the extensive news coverage of
the bombing, which killed three people and injured more than 260,
and the cases of the two other men would make it difficult to seat
an impartial jury.
Phillipos, who has been largely confined to his Cambridge,
Massachusetts, home since his May 2013 arrest, is not charged with
playing any role in the attack.
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Tsarnaev is awaiting a trial set to begin in November. He faces the
possibility of execution if found guilty of carrying out the deadly
bombing and also murdering a university police officer three days
(Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Grant McCool)
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