6 May 2013, 07:10

Friend of suspected Boston bomber, Phillipos applies for release

Robel Phillipos
Robel Phillipos
Robel Phillipos

Robel Phillipos, suspected of perjury in the case of the explosions in Boston has filed a request to be released, according to the local news portal Boston.com which cites the lawyers for the detainee.

Last week, three friends of the main suspect in the terrorist attack on April 15, students from Kazakhstan Azamat Tazhayakov and Dias Kadyrbayev along with Phillipos were all arrested. Phillipos has since been charged with making false statements to police, perjury and obstruction of justice in a terrorism investigation.

Investigators said that Phillipos gave investigators three different versions of what he did on April 18, before he confessed that he and his friends from Kazakhstan visited Tsarnaev’s room and removed several items including a laptop computer.

Lawyers Phillipos stated in court papers that the young man "was terrified and brought to confusion" by the intense interrogation, where he was accused of involvement in a terrorist attack.

According to them, the pressure of the authorities had a major negative impact on the ability of Phillipos give coherent testimony.

Lawyers point out that Phillipos "has no relation" to the terrorist attacks, presumably committed by Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his brother Tamerlan who was killed on April 19 during a failed arrest attempt.

In support of the request for release lawyers have provided numerous references from his friends and relatives.

The 19-year-old student faces up to eight years in prison and up to $250,000.00 in fines.

A hearing on his application for release will be held in Boston on Monday.

Boston bombing suspect's friends facing prison terms

Three college friends of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were arrested and accused Wednesday of removing a backpack containing hollowed-out fireworks from Tsarnaev’s dorm room three days after the attack to keep him from getting into trouble.

In court papers, the FBI said one of them threw the backpack in the garbage — it was later found in a landfill by law enforcement officers — after the young men concluded from news reports that Tsarnaev was one of the bombers.

Azamat Tazhayakov and Dias Kadyrbayev, both 19-year-olds from Kazakhstan, were charged with conspiring to obstruct justice by concealing and destroying evidence. Robel Phillipos, 19, who graduated from the prestigious Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School with Tsarnaev, was charged with lying to investigators about the visit to Tsarnaev’s room.

The three were not accused of any involvement in the bombing itself. But in a footnote in the court papers outlining the charges, the FBI said that about a month before the bombing, Tsarnaev told Tazhayakov and Kadyrbayev that he knew how to make a bomb.

The lawyers for the Kazakh students said their clients had nothing to do with the bombing and were just as shocked by the crime as everyone else. Phillipos’ attorney, Derege Demissie, said outside court: "The only allegation is he made a misrepresentation."

At a court appearance in the afternoon, the Kazakh students did not request bail and will be held for another hearing May 14. Phillipos was held for a hearing on Monday.

If convicted, Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov could get up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Phillipos faces a maximum of eight years behind bars and a $250,000 fine.

Suspected Tsarnaev accomplices not involved in bombings – US media

Two men from Kazakhstan, Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov, who were detained in Boston two weeks ago for sporting a terrorist logo on their car, have gone on trial on charges of overstaying their student visas.

Both, together with one of their American friends, were acquaintances of the surviving marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Investigators believe, however, that none of the trio had any direct involvement in the bomb plot.

At the same time, the men may have helped Tsarnaev to dispose of material evidence of bomb-making.

Voice of Russia, ABC News, CNN, BBC, Reuters, RT, RIA

Robel Phillipos, suspected of perjury in the case of the explosions in Boston has filed a request to be released, according to the local news portal Boston.com which cites the lawyers for the detainee.

Last week, three friends of the main suspect in the terrorist attack on April 15, students from Kazakhstan Azamat Tazhayakov and Dias Kadyrbayev along with Phillipos were all arrested. Phillipos has since been charged with making false statements to police, perjury and obstruction of justice in a terrorism investigation.

Investigators said they Phillipos gave investigators three different versions of what he did on April 18, before he confessed that he and his friends from Kazakhstan visited Tsarnaev’s room and removed several items including a laptop computer.

Lawyers Phillipos stated in court papers that the young man "was terrified and brought to confusion" by the intense interrogation, where he was accused of involvement in a terrorist attack.

According to them, the pressure of the authorities had a major negative impact on the ability of Phillipos give coherent testimony.

Lawyers point out that Phillipos "has no relation" to the terrorist attacks, presumably committed by Johar Tsarnaev and his brother Tamerlane who was killed on April 19 during a failed arrest attempt.

In support of the request for release lawyers have provided numerous references from his friends and relatives.

The 19-year-old student faces up to eight years in prison and up to $250,000.00 in fines.

A hearing on his application for release will be held in Boston on Monday.

Voice of Russia, RIA

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