Two college friends of accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev pleaded not guilty yesterday to charges that they helped cover his tracks when the FBI was trying to find the people responsible for the April 15 attack.
The appearance in federal court in Boston of a third man charged in the same case was postponed.
All three are charged with removing a laptop and a backpack containing empty fireworks shells from Tsarnaev's room three days after receiving a text message from him telling them to "go to my room and take what's there", according to court papers.
Dias Kadyrbayev, of Kazakhstan, pleaded not guilty to the charge of obstruction of justice and could face 25 years in prison or deportation. Robel Phillipos, of Cambridge, Massachusetts, pleaded not guilty to charges of lying to investigators and could face up to 16 years in prison.
The third man, Azamat Tazhayakov, also of Kazakhstan, was not present in court due to a train delay that affected his lawyer. He has previously pleaded not guilty to obstruction charges and also could face 25 years in prison.
Federal prosecutors said Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, now 20, and his older brother, Tamerlan, killed three people and injured 264 other with a pair of homemade pressure-cooker bombs at the crowded finish line.