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Court Convicts Friend of Boston Bombing Suspect

  • VOA News

FILE - Azamat Tazhayakov, a college friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, sits during a hearing in federal court in Boston.

FILE - Azamat Tazhayakov, a college friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, sits during a hearing in federal court in Boston.

A court has convicted a friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzokhar Tsarnaev for impeding the investigation into last year's deadly blast.

Azamat Tazhayakov, a foreign student from Kazakhstan, was found guilty of conspiracy and obstruction of justice in Boston.

Prosecutors said three days after April 15, 2013, bombing, 20-year-old Tazhayakov and another college friend removed Tzarnaev's backpack from his dormitory room at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth. The bag contained altered fireworks the friends threw away.

Tazhayakov faces up to 20 years in prison for the obstruction of justice charge and a maximum of five years in jail on the conspiracy charge. His sentencing is scheduled for October 16.

Twin bombs exploded near the finish line of the annual Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring more than 260 others.

Police say that two ethnic Chechen brothers who had lived in the United States for a decade, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, carried the bombs in backpacks to the Boston street near the finish line before detonating them.

Days later, Tamerlan was killed in a gun battle with police and Dzhokhar was found hiding in a boat parked in the backyard of a suburban Boston home. Authorities say he left a hand-scrawled confession inside the boat that said the bombings were retaliation for the U.S. killing of Muslims in American-led wars overseas.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, now 20, is in a U.S. prison awaiting trial on multiple charges, including use of a weapon of mass destruction.

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