Three friends of Boston bombing suspect to be arraigned
Three friends of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will be arraigned on Friday on charges of lying to investigators and conspiring to obstruct justice.
Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov, both 19-year-olds from Kazakhstan, had previously pleaded not guilty to charges of impeding the investigation into the April 15 attack that left three dead and scores injured.
The latest arraignment comes from a superceding indictment which combines the two men’s case with that of Robel Philippos, 19, another college friend of Tsarnaev’s.
Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov face up to 20 years in prison and the prospect of deportation from the United States if convicted. Phillipos faces up to 16 years in jail if he is found guilty.
In the wake of the Boston Marathon blasts, police carried out a massive manhunt for Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who allegedly planted two pressure-cooker bombs near the finish line.
The indictment alleges that after the FBI released photographs of the suspects, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev sent Kadyrbayev a text message suggesting that he go to Tsarnaev’s “room and take what’s there.”
The three young men then went to Tsarnaev’s dormitory room and removed a laptop and a backpack containing fireworks and other items, prosecutors allege.
Later that night Kadyrbayev is accused of putting the backpack in a garbage bag and placing it in a dumpster outside their apartment.
During later questioning, Phillipos hid these events from police and “in so doing, he made numerous false and misleading statements to the agents,” according to the indictment.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed during a shootout with police, while his younger brother — who has pleaded not guilty to 30 counts, 17 of which are punishable by death — was later arrested, wounded and hiding inside a small boat in a nearby backyard.
On Thursday, the parents of Tamerlan’s wife Katherine Russell, appeared before a grand jury to answer questions about the attack, local media reported.