• Marathon suspect's friends deny obstruction charge


    BOSTON (MyFoxBoston.com) -- Two friends of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev pleaded not guilty for their alleged roles in helping Tsarnaev cover his tracks.

    Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov were charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice and obstructing justice with the intent to impede the bombing investigation.

    The pair appeared in federal court wearing orange jumpsuits and were cuffed at the feet and wrists. Through heavy accents, they each said "not guilty" twice to the charges.

    Family members of the two were emotional during the proceeding.

    Investigators say the two men attended UMass Dartmouth with Tsarnaev and lived in the New Bedford apartment where he sometimes stayed.

    Prosecutors allege Kadyrbayev received a text message from Tsarnaev the day after the FBI released the bombing suspects' photos, telling him to remove items from the 19-year-old's dorm room. The pair is accused of removing and throwing out a lap top and backpack containing empty fireworks from the room.

    Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov were originally charged with conspiring to obstruct justice. Their lawyers claim the men had no role in the bombings.

    If convicted, Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov face up to 20 years in prison on the obstruction of justice count and up to five years in prison on the conspiracy count, each to be followed by up to three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.

    The men, who are from Kazakhstan, also face the possibility of being deported.

    Prosecutors said they plan to call 15-20 witnesses during an estimated two-week trial. They were held without bail and will appear in court again on Sept. 26 for a status conference.


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