Marathon bombings suspects’ friends due in court
BOSTON (AP) — A friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev plans to ask a judge to release him on bail while he awaits trial on charges of impeding the investigation into the deadly attack.
Khairullozhon Matanov is due in federal court Monday for a detention hearing. Matanov is accused of deleting computer files and lying to investigators in the Marathon bombing probe.
Prosecutors said Matanov had dinner with both suspects, Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his brother, Dzhokhar, hours after the April 15, 2013, bombings. He is not charged with participating in the bombings or knowing about them in advance.
Three people were killed and 260 were hurt when two pressure cooker bombs exploded near the finish line of the race. Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in a shootout with police several days later. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty to 30 federal charges and is awaiting a November trial.
Matanov, 23, of Quincy, initially waived his right to seek release on bail. His lawyer, Edward Hayden, said then that Matanov, who came to the United States from Kyrgyzstan in 2010, has no family here, lost his job as a cab driver after he was indicted and has nowhere to go if he were released.
Hayden did not return calls seeking comment Friday on the upcoming detention hearing.
During a court hearing this month, prosecutors argued that Matanov had shown a “pattern of deceit” that included using false names to send money overseas. His lawyer said Matanov sent most of the money to his family and sometimes used false names because he was uncomfortable sending all the money in his own name.
Prosecutors said Matanov deceived authorities when he was asked about his relationship with Tamerlan Tsarnaev. But Hayden said Matanov went to police the morning after the FBI released photographs of the Tsarnaevs and gave police the brothers’ address and phone numbers.
Matanov is one of four friends of the Tsarnaev brothers who have been charged with somehow impeding the investigation or lying to authorities.
Azamat Tazhayakov, a friend of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, is also due in court Monday for a final hearing before his June 30 trial on obstruction of justice charges. Tazhayakov is one of two college friends accused of removing items from Dzhokhar’s dormitory room at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst several days after the bombings.