Boston bomber’s friends accused of cover-up
Three college friends of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, one of the men responsible for the Boston bombings, have been arrested after entering his room on 18th April and disposing of a backpack filled with hollowed-out fireworks in a bid to protect their friend.
Robel Phillipos, who has reportedly known Dzhokhar Tsarnaev since they graduated high school together, was charged with lying to police officials regarding what took place in Tsarnaev’s room. Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov were each charged with attempting to obstruct the course of justice by taking and concealing important evidence including the backpack and a laptop.
The backpack in question was thrown away and later found in a landfill site by law enforcement officers. The incident reportedly occurred after surveillance footage of Tsarnaev had been shown, suggesting that he could be involved in the Boston bombings.
Tsarnaev also sent a text to his friend Kadyrbayev at this time telling him to “come to my room and take whatever you want”. The court affidavit reads: “Kadyrbayev knew when he saw the empty fireworks that Tsarnaev was involved in the bombing,” as well as “Kadyrbayev decided to remove the backpack from the room in order to help Tsarnaev avoid trouble”.
The three 19-year-olds all face serious consequences if convicted. Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov could face a maximum of five years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. Phillipos faces the same fine but could face a maximum of eight years imprisonment if convicted.
Robert Stahl, the lawyer representing Kadyrbayev said: “He is just as shocked and horrified by the violence that took place in Boston as the rest of the community is. He did not have anything to do with it.” Both Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov will allegedly plead not guilty. It is also reported that they did not request bail and will be held until another hearing occurs on 14th May.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is currently in a prison hospital, recovering from wounds he obtained when he and his brother attempted to escape arrest in a shootout.