As the second week of the Boston Marathon bombings trial begins, an FBI agent was expected to take the stand, according to Reuters. The agent interrogated a friend of the alleged bomber and has been charged with obstructing the investigation into the explosions.
The first of three friends to face trial on charges of interfering with an investigation is that of Azamat Tazhayakov, who is friends with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. They have been charged with entering the suspect’s dorm room to take a laptop and backpack that had empty casings of fireworks three days following the attacks on April 15, 2013.
The search of an apartment in New Bedford, Massachusetts was led by FBI special agent John Walker. The apartment housed the man on trial and Dias Kadyrbayev, another Kazakh exchange student. The raid took place four days following the bombings, which injured 264 people and killed three.
Walker has testified that he was in pursuit of a lead that Tsarnaev was in the apartment, but that turned out to be false. Authorities were worried at the time that there might have been other conspirators involved with the bombings. The older brother of Tsarnaev, Tamerlan, was a suspect in the bombing until he was killed in a shootout with police.
Walker interviewed Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov. He also said he interviewed a third person, identified as the girlfriend of Kadyrbayev.
The attorneys for Tazhayakov have argued that his statements from April 19 and the following morning should not be admitted at trial since he did not believe he was free to leave at the time of the interrogation. He faces up to 25 years in prison if he is convicted of conspiracy and obstruction of justice.
The girlfriend has been identified as Robel Phillipos, from Cambridge. She is facing charges of lying to investigators, which is a lesser charge. Kadyrbayev is facing the same charges as Tazhayakov.