Boston Remembers - Boston Marathon 1 Year Anniversary special reports from 7News Boston. [more]
BOSTON (AP) -
A lawyer claiming to represent friends of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev called the state police barracks while they were being questioned, but the men were never told about the call, prosecutors said Thursday.
Federal prosecutors made the disclosure in a written court filing as testimony continued on a defense motion to suppress statements made by the men.
Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov allegedly confessed to removing a backpack containing fireworks and a laptop computer from Tsarnaev's dorm room several days after the bombings. All three men were students at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth.
Prosecutors and defense lawyers are arguing over whether the statements were voluntary and can be used as evidence in the upcoming trial.
Robert Stahl, Kadyrbayev's lawyer, has said his client was asked if he was willing to talk after several armed officers swarmed his apartment, handcuffed him and put him in a police car. Prosecutors have said the men willingly spoke to federal agents after being told of their right to remain silent and to contact a lawyer.
In the court filing, prosecutors said a state trooper took a call at the barracks where the men were being questioned from a man who identified himself as an attorney and said he didn't want the men answering any questions. The trooper said he told a federal agent about the call.
In making the disclosure, prosecutors said they were not waiving the argument that even if an attorney had been retained to represent Kadyrbayev, his waiver of his rights "is nonetheless valid."
Kadyrbayev is the only one of three Tsarnaev friends who has agreed to testify during the suppression hearing. Lawyers for Tazhayakov and a third friend, Robel Phillipos, have said they will not testify. Phillipos is accused of lying to investigators.
None of the men are accused of being involved in the marathon bombing or knowing about the attack ahead of time.
Two bombs placed near the finish line of the 2013 marathon killed three people and injured more than 260. Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty to 30 federal charges and is awaiting trial in November. His brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, also a suspect in the bombings, died following a shootout with police several days later.
The filing includes a Wednesday email exchange between the trooper and one of the agents who questioned Kadyrbayev. The state trooper recalled that the lawyer who called the barracks said he represented the UMass students being questioned there.
The trooper said he "had no idea whether the caller was an actual attorney or some crackpot who was calling due to the media coverage." The trooper said the lawyer said he was contacted by the state's public defender agency and told to call the barracks.
The trooper said that he told the attorney that one of the agents had just told him that the student who was being questioned at the time, Kadyrbayev, had been "cooperative and had agreed to speak with them of his own free will."
The trooper said he told one of the federal agents involved in interviewing Kadyrbayev about the attorney's call.
"This conversation should have triggered numerous legal consequences that should lead this Court to suppress the statements and any fruits therefrom," Kadyrbayev's lawyer argues in a court filing.
In their filing, prosecutors say one of the FBI agents recalled that he and another agent were told about a call from a man who claimed to be an attorney after they had finished most of the interviews of Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov, "after the defendants had made all the admissions they made that night regarding entering Tsarnaev's dorm room and removing items."
U.S. District Judge Douglas Woodlock has not yet ruled on the motion. Kadyrbayev is expected to testify Friday.
Thursday, August 21 2014 12:56 PM EDT2014-08-21 16:56:56 GMT
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