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Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov, the friends of Dzokhar Tsarnaev who took items from his dorm room a few days after the Boston Marathon bombing, appeared in court today and entered pleas of not guilty to charges of conspiracy to obstruct justice. After court, Dias' attorney released a statement, which reads in part:
“Dias comes from a former Soviet-bloc region where police routinely are distrusted. Yet when authorities first approached him, he fully cooperated and for nearly 12 hours over two days Dias answered the FBI’s questions without an attorney or a Kazakh Consular official present,” the statement read.
“Dias also voluntarily turned over the computer from Tsarnaev’s room and told the FBI where they could find the backpack that contained a packet of fireworks. The FBI recovered all of the items because of Dias’ complete cooperation with their investigation.”
At Slate, Azamat's first lawyer, Harlan Protass, has an op-ed arguing against long sentences for the pair. The Government told the court today it expects to call 15 to 20 witnesses at trial.
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I've complained a few times over the past months about the incomplete court docket in the Dzhokhar Tsarnaev case, suggesting that mainstream media should object. It's one thing to keep the contents of a motion or order sealed, it's another to keep secret the fact that a motion or order was filed. In May, there were 22 missing docket entries. The docket today shows more missing docket entries(and shows nothing has been filed since July 15.)
At last: A challenge from MA media:
GateHouse Media Inc., the parent company of several Massachusetts-based community newspapers — including The Herald News, the Patriot Ledger and the MetroWest Daily News — on Wednesday submitted a letter to federal district court objecting that the public docket maintained in the criminal case against Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is missing entries.
I quoted the MA rules and posted a graphic showing the missing entries in May, along with a graphic of how it's typically done in cases in other districts -- including terrorism cases, here [More...].
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Sergeant Sean P. Murphy, the State Police tactical photographer who leaked photos of a bloodied Dzhokhar Tsarnaev with a sniper's laser aimed at his head as he surrendered and departed the boat, has been placed on leave. He will have a hearing next week. He was not authorized to release the photos.
The U.S. Attorneys office, former prosecutors, police officials, a law professor and defense lawyers have all blasted Murphy's release of the photos.
“The release of these photos was completely unacceptable,” (U.S. Attorney) spokeswoman Christina DiIorio-Sterling said in a statement. [More...]
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Rolling Stone has made available online the full article about Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Jahar's World. I haven't had time to read it yet, but if you have, here's a place to discuss it.
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I'm sure there will be people outraged by the presence of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on the cover of Rolling Stone. I'm not one of them. I'm looking forward to reading the featured article about him.
[RS Editor Janet]Reitman spent the last two months interviewing dozens of sources – childhood and high school friends, teachers, neighbors and law enforcement agents, many of whom spoke for the first time about the case – to deliver a riveting and heartbreaking account of how a charming kid with a bright future became a monster.
I just wish they hadn't called him a "monster." Hopefully the article will provide some unbiased insights into Jahar from people that really knew him. It comes out August 3. [More...]
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Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has his arraignment tomorrow in federal court in Boston. These aren't long hearings, he will just plead "not guilty" unless he has a deal, in which case he'll plead guilty.
I wonder how his medical condition is, and whether he will be kept at medical facility or shipped to a prison that houses detainees.I also wonder whether his lawyers have been able to forge a relationship with him. From the few accounts available, it seems like they have. No one I know is better at mastering that difficult task than Judy Clark.
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Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Massachusetts. Among the charges are use of weapons of mass destruction. He is also charged in the killing of four people.
There will be a press conference at 3 pm ET.
The 74 page indictment is here.
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Yesterday, the Judge in the Boston bombing case of defendant Dzokhar Tsarnaev issued an order denying a motion filed under seal in which the defense asked to take periodic photographs of Dzhokhar (Jahar) at Devens Medical Facility to be able to document his evolving physical and emotional state. The court declined to interfere with BOP policy which disallows visitors to have cameras on security grounds. It ruled that the staff at the prison can take the photos which will be shared with both parties (not just the defense.) Here is the Court's order, referencing the motion which was filed under seal as Docket Number 29. The order also refers to a response the Government filed under seal.
Looking at the docket, it appears that there have been many motions filed under seal, because so many numbers are missing. Instead of listing the docket number with a descriptive notation like "Motion to Suppress, Sealed, by Defendant", there's a big nothing. See below: [More..]
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RiaNovosti in Russia recently interviewed Devens Medical Center spokesman John Colautti about Dzokhar Tsarnaev's conditions of confinement.
Jahar is locked down 23 hours a day 5 days a week and 24 hours a day on weekends. He has no TV. He could listen to a walkman radio if he had $45 to buy it. His meals are brought to his cell. A book cart is brought by his cell a few days a week. He eats every meal alone in his cell. He gets three showers a week -- in his cell. He's not allowed contact with other prisons. Even if his injuries improve and he is moved to another facility, it's unlikely his living conditions will be any different -- he'll be deemed to be a "celebrity" inmate who needs to be segregated from general population. This could easily go on for a year.
The only people he sees besides medical staff are his lawyers, and they are 30 miles away. He still can't have visitors because it takes a while. He has to submit the names of visitors -- they have to be people he knew before being arrested -- and then a thorough background check is done on them.
His cell is about 10 feet by 10 feet and contains only a bed bolted to the floor, a sink and a toilet. When he is taken out for exercise, he is shackled at the hands and feet by two guards, and brought to a cage type place outdoors where he can exercise. If weather is inclement, there's an indoor room where he could exercise alone. If the prison gets put on lockdown, or staff is short (e.g. from furloughs), he doesn't get to go.
More details here.
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The Government and Defense have filed a joint motion to continue today's hearing in Robel Phillipos case. It includes a stipulation for release on bond. From the Motion:
Since the initial appearance, the parties have conferred extensively and now agree that the Court can fashion strict conditions of release that will reasonably assure the defendant’s appearance at future proceedings.
Specifically, the parties recommend that the Court impose the following conditions: (a) home confinement at the residence of a third-party custodian; (b) defendant shall be monitored for 24 hours a day on an electronic bracelet; and [c] his release will be secured by a secured bond in the amount of $100,000.
Robel filed a motion for bond on Saturday. Links to bond pleadings are here.
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The FBI is again searching the residence where Tamerlan Tsarnaev lived with his wife at 410 Norfolk St.
Ruslan Tsarnev (the uncle from Maryland) is at the funeral home where the director is still pleading for the Government to step in and find a place to bury Tamerlan, whose body is now being prepared for a proper Muslim burial.
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Yesterday, 18 year old Abdella Tounisi, the latest terror sting victim of the FBI, was ordered released on bail by a U.S. Magistrate Court Judge. The Government immediately appealed to the District Court Judge who today reversed the Magistrate Court Judge. Tounisi will remain in custody.
Here's the story if you haven't been following the case. [More...]
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All it takes is for one or two unnamed federal law enforcement officials to make an unsubstantiated claim and every media outlet runs with it as if it is true. The latest: Claims that Dzhokhar Tsnarnev told the FBI the bombs for Boston were made in the apartment Tamerlan Tsarnaev shared with his wife and that the brothers initially planned on bombing Boston on the 4th of July but it was so easy to build the bombs they moved up their timetable
The bombs used in the Boston Marathon attack were built in the apartment that suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev shared with his wife and child, a U.S. law enforcement official with first-hand knowledge of the investigation told CNN on Thursday. The official was not authorized to release the information.
....Tsarnaev and his younger brother, Dzhokhar, initially planned to carry out an attack on July 4, but their bombs were ready earlier than they expected and they decided to move up the date, a U.S. law enforcement official told CNN on Thursday.
Via ABC: [More...]
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New York civil rights attorney Lynne Stewart has the backing of medical authorities at BOP Federal Medical Center Carswell to be released from her 10 year terrorism-related sentence due to advanced cancer. Her request will now go to the BOP and federal court, hopefully for approval.
Stewart's conviction stretched the definition of material support to a terrorist organization to new limits. Here's a transcript of an interview she and her trial lawyer Michael Tigar gave after the jury found her guilty.
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Dzhokhar Tsarnaev just got the biggest gift of his life -- Judy Clarke has been appointed by the court to represent him along with the Federal Defenders.
Tsarnaev has become the new poster child for "the worst of the worst." If anyone can gain his trust to be able to provide him an effective defense and save his life, it's Judy.
Judy rarely talks to the media but last week, she was the keynote speaker at a Loyola Law School conference, and spoke a little bit about being a death defense lawyer.
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