Bombing suspect’s sister in court in money case
BOSTON (AP) — The sister of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev appeared briefly in a Boston courtroom Wednesday on a charge related to a counterfeiting investigation.
Aliana Tsarnaeva, 23, was in court to ask a judge to remove a warrant issued after she failed to appear on a charge of misleading police.
Prosecutors say Tsarnaeva picked up a person who passed a counterfeit bill at a restaurant at the South Bay Mall in Boston in 2010, but was uncooperative when questioned.
Jake Wark, a spokesman for District Attorney Dan Conley, said Tsarnaeva is not accused of passing the bill, but evidence suggests she knew members of the group that did and “lied about certain salient facts during the investigation.”
Tsarnaeva formerly lived in Cambridge but now lives in New Jersey.
The default warrant was issued after she failed to appear in court in February 2011. She had been arraigned on the charge a month earlier.
Her lawyer, George Gormley, said in court that she has a 1-year-old child and is pregnant, so is unlikely to flee.
“I think it is her view that she provided the information she had to authorities, and she had no connection whatsoever with the passage of this allegedly counterfeit $100 bill,” Gormley said after the hearing in a telephone interview.
A judge agreed to remove the default warrant and released Tsarnaeva on $1,500 personal recognizance. She is not required to post the $1,500, but must forfeit that amount if she fails to appear in court. One of the conditions of her release is that she is required to report to Massachusetts probation officials once a week.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 20, is charged in twin April 15 explosions that killed three people and injured more than 260. Authorities say he and his brother, Tamerlan, 26, built and planted pressure cooker bombs near the finish line of the marathon. Tamerlan died after he was shot by police and run over by his brother during a chaotic getaway attempt several days after the bombing.
The siblings moved to the United States with their parents from Russia when they were children.