Friend of Boston bombing suspect’s friend accused of lying

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 31 August, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 31 August, 2013, 3:06am


A friend of the surviving Boston marathon bombing suspect faces up to 16 years in jail after being charged with two counts of lying to terrorism investigators.

Robel Phillipos, 19, is alleged to have gone to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's student dormitory room with two others after the attack.

It is claimed they left with a laptop and a backpack filled with fireworks and that Phillipos repeatedly misled investigators.

The two others, Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov - both Kazakhstan nationals - have denied conspiring to obstruct justice by agreeing to destroy and conceal Tsarnaev's belongings three days after the April 15 bombing that killed three and injured more than 260. Phillipos and 20-year-old Tsarnaev were both students at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

Following Phillipos' arrest in May, a judge ordered him released on a bond of US$100,000, putting him on home confinement and electronic monitoring.

Arguing for bail, his lawyers portrayed him as a frightened and confused young man "who was subjected to intense questioning and interrogation, without the benefit of counsel, and in the context of one of the worst attacks against the nation".