US teen held in bomb case may be freed

2013-05-06 21:47
A courtroom sketch of Robel Phillipos. (Jane Flavell Collins, AP)

A courtroom sketch of Robel Phillipos. (Jane Flavell Collins, AP)

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Boston - US prosecutors have agreed that a teenager suspected of lying to FBI agents in the Boston Marathon bombing investigation, can be released while awaiting trial, according to a court filing on Monday.

Prosecutors and the defence team for Robel Phillipos plan to ask US Magistrate Judge Marianne Bowler to grant the 19-year-old a pre-trial release under strict conditions. The court has not yet ruled on the joint motion.

Phillipos was expected to appear at 14:00 hearing on Monday in Boston.

Defence lawyers and prosecutors "conferred extensively" and agreed the court could have Phillipos ordered to home confinement at the residence of a third-party custodian, the court filing said.

He would wear an electronic bracelet with GPS monitoring and post a $100 000 bail to ensure his appearance in future court proceedings.

Phillipos, of Cambridge, Massachusetts, is accused of making false statements to FBI agents investigating the 15 April attack, which killed three people and injured 264 near the marathon's finish line.

Defence lawyers argued he was not a flight risk, has no prior criminal history and can refute FBI allegations that he interfered with their investigation, court records show.

Students charged

Last week, US authorities charged Phillipos and two 19-year-old students from Kazakhstan with interfering with their investigation as a manhunt for brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was under way.

The three teens are described as college friends of surviving suspect, 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Authorities charged the Kazakhs, Azamat Tazhayakov and Dias Kadyrbayev, with conspiring to obstruct justice by disposing of a backpack containing fireworks they found in Tsarnaev's dorm room.

Lawyers for Phillipos point out that he has not been charged with removing or tampering with evidence.

Instead, he is charged with lying to authorities about the conduct of his friends.

Their cover-up, as alleged by investigators, happened after the FBI released surveillance photos of Dzhokhar and his older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

The elder Tsarnaev, 26, was killed and Dzhokhar was found bleeding while hiding in a covered boat in a Watertown resident's back yard.

Read more on:    fbi  |  tamerlan tsarnaev  |  dzhokhar tsarnaev  |  us  |  boston explosions
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