Boston bomb suspects’ friend to plead guilty to lying to FBI
BOSTON (AP) — A friend of the brothers accused of bombing the Boston Marathon plans to plead guilty to charges of deleting information from his computer and lying to the FBI.
A lawyer for Khairullozhon Matanov filed a joint motion with federal prosecutors on Monday asking the court to schedule the hearing.
Matanov’s lawyer, Paul Glickman, would not comment when asked if the expected guilty plea means Matanov has an agreement with prosecutors and plans to testify against the only surviving brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, at his trial. Jury selection began last week and is scheduled to resume Thursday with questioning of prospective jurors individually.
A spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz also declined to comment.
Prosecutors say Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, planted and detonated two homemade bombs near the finish line of the 2013 marathon, killing three people and injuring hundreds more.
Matanov was arrested more than a year after the attack and was accused of lying about contact he had with the brothers, including dinner he bought them at a restaurant hours after the bombings.
Matanov, a native of Kyrgyzstan, was a close friend of Tamerlan Tsarnaev and an acquaintance of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Prosecutors said he repeatedly deceived authorities when questioned about his relationship with Tamerlan Tsarnaev in the days after the bombings.
But Matanov’s former lawyer, Edward Hayden, said previously that Matanov went to police in suburban Braintree the morning after the FBI released photographs of the Tsarnaevs and gave them the brothers’ address and phone numbers. That was hours before Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured hiding in a boat in nearby Watertown. Tamerlan Tsarnaev had been killed in a shootout with police earlier that day.
Prosecutors said Matanov called Tamerlan Tsarnaev about 40 minutes after the bombings and invited him to dinner.
Hayden said Matanov, a cab driver from Quincy, and the Tsarnaevs talked about the bombings during dinner “like everyone else discussed the bombings.” He said the Tsarnaevs did not reveal to Matanov anything about what prosecutors say was their role in the deadly attack.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty to federal charges connected to the April 2013 bombings.