Tsarnaev Friends Plead Not Guilty at Arraignment

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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  • Display: Sort:
    15-20 Witnesses?! (none / 0) (#1)
    by heidelja on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 10:12:33 PM EST
    Who saw WHAT?

    Reportedly, he had many friends (none / 0) (#2)
    by shoephone on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 10:50:32 PM EST
    from school. And perhaps some of his brother's acquaintances from boxing will be called. I'm also wondering if the uncle in MA who was interviewed by police and the news media will be a witness.

    Reading he Slate article... (none / 0) (#4)
    by heidelja on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 04:16:58 AM EST
    ...explains the prosecutorial "''overkill' and 'improvident invocation' of prosecutorial authority" in play. (So Ortiz was the one who singlehandedly put Swartz to death?)

    And then when it comes to Boston's big brother, NYC officials (past and present) are always chiming in...

    Some commentators, including former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, have suggested that, because Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov didn't go to the police after they figured out that Tsarnaev was one of the alleged bombers, Ortiz should seek to hold them accountable for the murder of MIT police officer Sean Collier, the shooting of transit officer Richard Donohue, and the carjacking believed to have been carried out by Tsarnaev and his older brother, Tamerlan. In other words, because Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov didn't do anything to stop the killings that followed the marathon bombing, they are complicit in it. It's worth noting that they had no legal responsibility to report Tsarnaev to the authorities, even though most people would surely agree that they should have if they could have prevented additional violence.

    Most witnesses are law enforcement I bet (none / 0) (#3)
    by TycheSD on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 11:55:10 PM EST
    Unless these guys told other people they had done this, I can't imagine who they would call as witnesses other than the law enforcement officials who interviewed these guys on several occasions to reveal what they said.

    The problem... (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by heidelja on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 06:37:43 AM EST
    ...as I see it for the prosecution are multifaceted. Uppermost is 1) the time element... 24 hours was it ... from the time the pic was released and the "capture" of the villains. By one ambiguous account 12 hours of which one or another was being interrogated?

    By the Guilliani quote above, the overreach of the prosecution seems to be that they want a drummed up conviction on what the boys should have known and did, or did not do, in the 2-3 days immediately following the bombing as much so as the explicit acts of obstruction gone reported in the media they "purposely" did. 2) Who's to say they knew mundane fireworks were used to make bombs and to be more than something that looked BAD to have if one they knew was going framed as being a "bomber." Lost it seems is that John Q Public has no right of proof if Feebs make allegations under threat of obstruction if they see it differently to make an arbitrary case.