Kazakhstan duo pleads not guilty to impeding Boston bombing probe
Aug 14. Tengrinews
Two Kazakhstan teenagers who went to the same college with accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges of impeding investigators pursuing the perpetrators of the deadly finish-line attack, AFP reports.
Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov, 19-year-olds from Kazakhstan, had been indicted by a grand jury Thursday of obstructing justice with the intent of impeding the investigation into the April 15 attack that left three dead and scores injured.
Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov’s parents were present when they appeared before federal judge Marion Bowler in orange prison jumpsuits and in chains.
Their next day in court was set for September 26. Federal prosecutor Stephanie Seligmann said 15 to 20 witnesses would testify during a trial expected to last two weeks.
If convicted, Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov could face up to 25 years in prison and the prospect of deportation from the United States after they serve their sentences.
The grand jury indictment stems from the Boston-wide manhunt for brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who allegedly planted two pressure-cooker bombs near the finish line of the world-famous foot race.
Prompted by a text message from Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to go to his college dormitory room and “take what’s there,” Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov – together with a third conspirator – removed a laptop computer, fireworks and other items, prosecutors have asserted.
They then allegedly took the items to their apartment in New Bedford, Massachusetts, where the items were subsequently stuffed into a garbage bag and put in a dumpster outside, the US attorney’s office said.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed amid a shootout with police later that night, while his younger brother – who has pleaded not guilty to 30 counts including murder – was later arrested hiding inside a small boat in a nearby backyard.
Kadyrbayev’s lawyer Robert Stahl said Tuesday his young client had cooperated fully with investigators, answering FBI questions for 12 hours over two days without a lawyer or Kazakh diplomat present.
“He and his family hope that the tragedy and sheer violence of the bombing will not blind justice, that the American justice system will prevail, and that his innocence will be proven at trial.”
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Defense of Kazakh student charged of Boston case to appeal for trial venue to be moved
Aug. 14. Trend
By E. Kosolapova
The defense team for Kazakhstan’s student Azamat Tazhayakov, who together with his friend Diaz Kadyrbaev is charged of obstructing justice in the investigation of the Boston attack and conspiracy to destroy evidence in the room of one of the alleged executors of the terrorist attack Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, will make a formal request to have the trial moved, RIA-Novosti reported.
“The defense is to make a request for the transfer of the case to another state. I do not think the people in this city can be impartial to my son. The issue is not that we do not trust the Bostonians. However, so many people were affected here and public opinion has been created. Meanwhile, according to U.S. law, the jury should have no prior opinions,” Tazhayakov’s father Amir Ismagulov said, who is in Boston to attend the hearing which started on Tuesday.
Earlier Tazhayakov and Kardybaev were read out charges at the court and neither of the accused pleaded guilty.
“We are working on a petition to postpone the hearing and move it from Boston to another state,” Tazhayakov’s lawyer Arkady Bukh said.
The two 19 year old Kazakh citizens who came to the U.S. to study face a maximum sentence of up to 25 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
Dual bombings at the Boston Marathon killed three spectators and wounded more than 250 others on April 15. Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were charged of organising a terrorist attack.