Two Friends of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Indicted

Azamat Tazhayakov and Dias Kadyrbayev have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Boston on charges of Obstruction of Justice and Conspiracy to Obstruct Justice. The Indictment is here.

Robelo Philliipos was not indicted. His lawyer says he is still negotiating with the Government.

What's missing from the Indictment? Any reference to what the two told the FBI during their early interviews. Did DOJ conclude their statements were inadmissible? The Complaint against them had alleged: [More...]

KADYRBAYEV, TAZHAYAKOV, and PHILLIPOS were each interviewed during this investigation. As set forth below, all three have admitted that on the evening of April 18, 2013, they removed Tsarnaev's backpack from Tsarnaev's dormitory room, and KADYRBAYEV and TAZHAYAKOV have admitted that they agreed to get rid of it after concluding from news reports that Tsarnaev was one of the Boston Marathon bombers. (my emphasis.)

There is no reference in the overt acts portion of the Indictment to their statements. Nor is Tsarnaev's roommate, who was at the dorm room when the three friends arrived to gather Jahar's things identified. (The roommate, as far as I know, has never been linked to any misconduct or involvement. He let the three friends into the dorm room and then left.)

The Government has to prove the two friends acted with the intent to impede the investigation. If Phillipos cooperates, perhaps the Government will rely on his testimony, along with the physical evidence retrieved from the landfill and phone records, to make the case, rather than their statements.

One more witness was taken into custody along with Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov when police went to the Carriage Drive apartment. She was later identified by Azamat's father as Dias Kadyrbayev's girlfriend.

Here is a photo of Azamat Tazhayakov being taken in the first time. This is the second time.
Here is Dias Kadyrbayev the second time.

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  • Display: Sort:
    20 years? Wow! (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by Teresa on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 09:45:28 PM EST
    Just think how easy Scooter Libby got off. That's ridiculous. I know what they did is wrong, but what they did didn't change the outcome of charging Jahar. They did cooperate and the goverment did get the evidence.

    I didn't realize they'd been held all this time.

    As I have commented many times (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by Peter G on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 09:02:17 AM EST
    on this site, the sum of the (theoretically possible) legal maximum sentences is no predictor of an actual outcome at sentencing, assuming conviction.  Throwing around the maximum sentence that is allowable in the most aggravated possible instance of a person violating the same statute(s) is not a valid basis for comparison with the actual sentence imposed (much less a sentence that was reduced by Presidential commutation) in another particular case.  The actual sentence to be imposed here -- again, assuming conviction -- will be decided by a judge, after hearing from both sides and considering all the case-specific circumstances, in that judge's discretion.

    is wadda buncha maroons.
    On April 18, the FBI posted pictures of Tsarnaev and his brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev, an alleged co-conspirator who died the next day during the manhunt. According to the indictment, Kadyrbayev later received a text message from Dzhokhar Tsarnaev suggesting that he go to Tsarnaev's "room and take what's there."

    The indictment alleges that Kadyrbayev, Tazhayakov, and another conspirator, who was not named in the indictment, went to Tsarnaev's dorm room and removed several items, including Tsarnaev's laptop computer and a backpack containing fireworks. The indictment says they brought the items to Kadyrbayev's and Tazhayakov's apartment and later put some of them in a trash dumpster.

    I Believe... (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 03:15:33 PM EST
    ...they went to visit him and he wasn't there so they started watching TV where they learned he was either wanted in connect to, or was the bomber.  That is when they decided to help their friend.

    I agree, I can't imagine finding out someone I knew did that, but I would never try and destroy evidence.  I would do a lot of dirty deeds for my friends and I love them, but damn, if they kill innocent people they can go F themselves.

    The problem IMO is they won't get a deserved punishment, which a year seems reasonable, certainly they parents will be broke after the trial.  But the government is going do what they always do, throw the book at them.

    They made an extremely dumb decision on the spot, but in no way effected the capture of the accused and they had no connection the plot.  they helped recover the laptop and seems like they have been cooperating.  But you just don't try and destroy evidence in case that involves people getting killed.


    I too... (none / 0) (#15)
    by kdog on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 08:08:55 AM EST
    would have no qualms about breaking laws to help a friend in need.  I think this is one of those situations where you never really know what you'd do until you're in that very tough spot.  Thinking about it...I'd be hard pressed not to help and try to keep a loved one out of prison no matter what they'd done...but then I'd disown them if it was something heinous.  The only exception being if I was convinced they'd hurt more people reoffending.

    No news there then, same as most teens. (none / 0) (#2)
    by gbrbsb on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 03:12:35 PM EST
    Sorry for a stupid question... (none / 0) (#29)
    by DebFrmHell on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 05:34:06 PM EST
    But if Tsarnaev was sending out text messages on the 18th, was he using a phone? Or a tablet?  

    I would like to know the time the text was sent only because if he thought he was never coming back, could that have been after the shooting death of that young campus officer.

    Sorry to be a bother.


    So What's a Reasonable Innocent Explanation? (none / 0) (#4)
    by RickyJim on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 03:18:05 PM EST
    Were Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov just doing a good deed by collecting trash from a friend's messy room?

    they don't need an innocent explanation (5.00 / 4) (#5)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 05:19:27 PM EST
    the burden of proof, including on intent, is on the Government. Defendants have no obligation to say anything and no burden of proof.

    Proving Guilt (none / 0) (#6)
    by RickyJim on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 05:40:28 PM EST
    Prosecutors often get up in their closing statements and ask "So what is the explanation for such behavior except the defendant's or defendants' guilt (of attempting to cover up a friend's crime)?  In other words, proof by contradiction works both in mathematics and law courts.

    Fireworks (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by cate999 on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 06:15:37 PM EST
    Much of the indictment discusses the fireworks - Tsarnav posted photos of himself on twitter with his friends playing with fireworks January 2013 - http://bit.ly/1cOzHTT

    His family friend Mr Umarov also talked about seeing Tsarnaev for the last time when he was about to go and let off some fireworks with friends http://nyti.ms/Zzp2ne

    Amercian Pyrotechnics Association has said it does not believe that it would have been possible for the bombs to have been constructed from fireworks - http://on.mktw.net/1cu4xOH

    And the Vaseline being evidence of bomb making is ridiculous - plenty of teenage and adult males use vaseline and they don't use it for making bombs...


    So the Innocent Explanation (1.00 / 2) (#12)
    by RickyJim on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 08:50:20 PM EST
    For removing the backpack with fireworks and computer from Tsarneav's room and then ditching the backpack in the garbage is...?  I don't see how the pals got, without criminal intent, from "Come to my room and take anything you want." to removing and disposing of what they did.

    See Jeralyn's response (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by Peter G on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 09:03:37 AM EST
    The more important question (none / 0) (#31)
    by cate999 on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 09:23:11 AM EST
    why is the Attorney-General choosing to proceed with fairly harsh charges against these boys?

    No doubt the threat of his friends getting 20 years in prison for something he may or may not have any involvement in, could potentially help persuade Jahar to plea deal? Thereby avoiding a potentially messy and incriminating trial for the FBI? Tsarnaev seems reluctant to plea deal to date even in the face of 30 charges and a possible death penalty. Either he is innocent or he is one stubborn kid.

    His friends are being used as bargaining tools in the game of justice I think. Sad. Too many young lives ruined in this event and the aftermath/investigation. I would like to see the real criminals found and brought to justice. I think the victims of the bombing deserve that.

    Here is an interesting article on the friends upcoming hearing. From the article - 'If all we want is a guilty verdict in this case, we'll win that fight. But if we take on terrorism and sacrifice our morals in between, we are sure to lose the war.'


    I couldn't get your links to work (none / 0) (#11)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 08:04:32 PM EST
    Here are the fireworks pictures. Also this one.

    Here's the NY Times article you were referring to. In it, Junes Umarov says the fireworks (and last time he saw Jahar) happened one month to the day before the bombing. Here's a tweet between Jahar and Troy showing the fireworks were shortly before 3/20/13. Junes said it was just "Harry Potter" stuff.


    thank you (none / 0) (#32)
    by cate999 on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 09:23:36 AM EST
    Seems to me like a real bottom-of-the-barrel (5.00 / 5) (#8)
    by Peter G on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 06:06:53 PM EST
    case for the feds.  Two stupid teenagers trying to help a friend, whom they did not know to have committed a horrendous crime (if he did), now charged with federal felonies.  And yet another friend, it seems, pressured into testifying against them.

    That's how I took it, too, Peter. (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Teresa on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 09:38:40 PM EST
    The other friend is either being pressured to, or agreed to, testify against them to get out of trouble.

    I haven't read the all the links yet, but I agree with Scott. Their sentence, if found guilty, should be a year or less. They seemed confused and scared at the time to me, and I seriously doubt they'll ever be in trouble again. I haven't read yet what their sentence could be, but I'm sure it's a long time.

    I know I'm just a bleeding heart , but I think putting someone in prison for these types of crimes should take into account the need for rehabilitation (not that prisoners get that) and I doubt those guys need any.


    What would lead you to believe that that, (none / 0) (#18)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 10:47:01 AM EST
    against all common sense, the "stupid teenagers" did not know that their friend had committed, or, at the very least, was suspected to have committed, this horrendous crime, before they took/hid/disposed of/whatever his stuff?

    The timeline (none / 0) (#20)
    by Peter G on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 03:21:50 PM EST
    and the rest of the facts, as I understand them at this time.

    Am I missing something? (none / 0) (#21)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 03:26:27 PM EST
    Two college friends of accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were indicted Thursday on federal obstruction of justice charges, while lawyers for a third friend said he is negotiating a possible deal in his case.

    Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov, both 19-year-old former students from Kazakhstan, were indicted by a federal grand jury, which said they took evidence from Tsarnaev's dorm room at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, tossed it in the trash, and watched a rubbish truck take it away after authorities had publicly identified Tsarnaev as a suspect.

    My bold.

    More: (none / 0) (#22)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 03:28:37 PM EST
    The indictment said that Kadyrbayev, Tazhayakov, and Phillipos went to Tsarnaev's dorm room around 10 p.m. April 18, about five hours after the FBI had posted video and photos of the two alleged bombers and asked the public for help identifying them.

    Also that night, Kadyrbayev allegedly showed Tazhayakov a text message from Tsarnaev that said he could "go to my room and take what's there." Kadyrbayev allegedly searched Tsarnaev's things and found a laptop and a backpack containing fireworks, some opened to reveal explosive powder, and a jar of Vaseline.

    "Kadyrbayev told Tazhayakov that he [Kadyrbayev] believed Dzokhar Tsarnaev had used the Vaseline `to make bombs,' or words to that effect," the indictment said.

    I'd google to try to figure out the connection (none / 0) (#24)
    by Mr Natural on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 09:37:59 PM EST
    between bombs and vaseline, (because for the life of me I can't see it), but I don't want to get my name on another nsa list.

    "Another?" (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 11:35:55 PM EST
    Since I'm not worried (none / 0) (#26)
    by CoralGables on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 10:08:53 AM EST
    I googled.

    And yes Vaseline is used as part of an at home bomb making component. If these two knew that, as is suggested, it's likely the defendant had mentioned it to them at some point. Even with knowing nothing of the bombing plans in advance, that would make their disposing of the items look like more of a coverup than not. A dumb move on both their parts.


    I remember early on (none / 0) (#33)
    by TH71 on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 09:51:41 PM EST
    in the investigation (when the two friends were arrested) reading an article in which one of the young men was quoted (from an "anonymous source") as having said that Dzhokhar told them a couple of months ago (would have been Jan./Feb.) that he knew how to build a bomb.  Psychologists call this "leakage"-- a phenomena in which criminals or people hiding something will leak details of their hidden life to those who are unaware.  Since it's been awhile I can't seem to find the article, so sorry I can't provide a link!  

    Found the link (none / 0) (#34)
    by TH71 on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 10:59:28 PM EST
    Here is the link to the article in which DT is said to have told his friends he knew how to build a bomb approx. one month (I orig. thought it was a few months previous) before the marathon:

    This is also mentioned in the criminal complaint against Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov.


    chicken before egg? (none / 0) (#7)
    by cate999 on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 06:04:16 PM EST
    wouldn't their case hinge on whether Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is found guilty of the bombing? Or can they still be guilty of impeding an investigation?

    they can be guilty of impeding (none / 0) (#9)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 06:10:35 PM EST
    regardless of what the outcome is with respect to Jahar. The crime is impeding the investigation.

    Is this the same prosecutor (none / 0) (#19)
    by Belswyn on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 01:32:11 PM EST
    Who indicted Aaron Swartz?

    it's the same U.S. Attorney's Office (none / 0) (#23)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 08:17:51 PM EST
    For me, it's the laptop (none / 0) (#27)
    by Aspidistra on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 10:40:54 AM EST
    Why else would they have taken the laptop except to impede the investigation?

    Fireworks are illegal in Massachusetts, so it's understandable them going to the dorm room and taking the fireworks to cover their friend's a**.

    However...the only explanation for taking the laptop would be that they knew their friend was in some serious criminal trouble and they wanted to slow down the cops.

    Verbal explanations for motive are irrelevant.  As I always say to my ten-year-old stepdaughter, "Pay attention to what people do - don't listen to what they say.  Pay attention to what they do."  

    Not necessarily (none / 0) (#28)
    by TycheSD on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 04:32:36 PM EST
    They could have interpreted the text message from their friend as telling them that they could have whatever they wanted from his room, as he was not coming back.  So, they took the laptop because they 1) Thought they could use it themselves 2) Wanted something to remember their friend by, if they could get access to his data, 3) Thought Dzhokhar would want his computer if he saw them again.

    It would be interesting to know (none / 0) (#30)
    by RickyJim on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 06:53:39 PM EST
    the explanation the the boys' lawyers used with the prosecutor to head off an indictment.  Obviously it wasn't that convincing.  The explanation you give may contradict some things that the FBI claims they were told by the three.  If they thought it was possible at all that Jahar was one of the bombers, walking off with his computer, a jar of Vaseline, a thumbdrive and a backpack of empty fireworks is hard to regard as an innocent act.  Did they leave any good stuff like a TV or an IPad behind?

    SITE VIOLATOR (none / 0) (#42)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Mar 13, 2016 at 09:54:04 AM EST