Bombing suspect's friend convicted of lying to FBI

2014-10-28 16:57
Defendants Azamat Tazhayakov, left, and  Dias Kadyrbayev, right, college friends of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, during a hearing in Boston. (File, AP)

Defendants Azamat Tazhayakov, left, and Dias Kadyrbayev, right, college friends of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, during a hearing in Boston. (File, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Boston - A friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was convicted on Tuesday of lying during the investigation into the 2013 attack.

Robel Phillipos, 21, was convicted of two counts for lying about being in Tsarnaev's dorm room while two other friends removed a backpack containing fireworks and other potential evidence three days after the bombing while an intense manhunt was underway for the suspected bombers.

He looked straight ahead impassively as the guilty verdicts were read.

FBI agents testified that Phillipos told them a string of lies about the night of 18 April 2013, before finally acknowledging he had been in Tsarnaev's room at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth with the two men who removed Tsarnaev's backpack and computer.

Phillipos' lawyers said he was a frightened 19-year-old who was intimidated by the FBI and too high on marijuana to clearly remember what he did that night. The defence called several friends who said Phillipos smoked marijuana a half-dozen times that day.

The defence also called former Massachusetts governor and 1988 Democratic presidential nominee Michael Dukakis to testify for Phillipos. Dukakis, an old family friend of Phillipos' mother, described a phone conversation he had with Phillipos five days after the bombings. Dukakis said Phillipos told him he had been questioned by the FBI for five hours, but was so confused he didn't remember what he said.

The defence also claimed that Phillipos' confession was coerced by FBI agents.

Prosecutors scoffed at Phillipos' marijuana defense, telling the jury that he was able to remember many details about 18 April and lied about his activities that night because he knew he had done something wrong.

The two friends who removed Tsarnaev's backpack were both convicted of conspiracy and obstruction of justice.

Tsarnaev is awaiting trial in the bombings. He has pleaded not guilty to 30 federal charges and could face the death penalty if convicted.

Phillipos' sentencing is scheduled for 29 January, and he faces a maximum sentence of eight years on each count of lying during a terrorism investigation. Phillipos will remain under house arrest on an electronic monitoring bracelet until then.

Read more on:    us  |  boston bombings

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
6 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.