Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's Friends Charged In Boston Bombing Case

Friends of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were charged today on new counts of obstruction of justice.

Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov in court

Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov, shown here in an earlier court sketch, received new charges against them in the Boston Marathon bombing case today.

The case for the Boston Marathon bombings earlier this year have cast a wider net today, bringing in some of the suspects' acquaintances.  A federal grand jury indicted Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov, friends of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, on obstruction of justice and conspiring to obstruct justice charges in a Boston court today.  The two friends of Tsarnaev, both 19 and attending the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, will be formally charged on Tuesday at a federal court in Boston.

Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov, both Kazakh citizens who are in the United States on student visas to attend UMass-Dartmouth, had been close friends with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev for some time.  After the FBI initially released photos of Dzhokhar and elder brother Tamerlan, pointing them as the prime suspects of the Boston Marathon bombings, Dzhokhar allegedly contacted Kadyrbayev, and told him to go to his college dorm room and "take what's there."  Kadyrbayev, with help from Tazhayakov, entered Dzhokhar's dorm and threw out his backpack—which contained fireworks and bomb-making materials—and laptop, placing it in a dumpster in nearby New Bedford. 

Eventually, this evidence was recovered authorities, and tied Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov to the bombing case.  According to Kadyrbayev's attorney, he was eventually questioned by the FBI for more than twelve hours without an attorney or Kazakh embassy official present, cooperating fully.  Despite this, he and Tahayakov were indicted in May on different charges, before receiving the current charges today.

The two suspects face up to 20 years for obstruction of justice, 5 for conspiracy.  Dzhokhar Tsarnaev himself appeared in court earlier this week for the first time to plea not guilty on 30 counts, including using a weapon of mass destruction to commit murder, and murdering an MIT police officer during the manhunt that led to the suspect's arrest in Watertown, Massachusetts.  Dzhokhar's brother Tamerlan was killed in a shootout during the manhunt.