Man charged with obstructing marathon bombing investigation - 7News Boston WHDH-TV

Man charged with obstructing marathon bombing investigation

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BOSTON (WHDH) - A Quincy man has been charged with obstructing the Boston Marathon bombing investigation according to an indictment released Friday.

Khairullozhon Matanov, 23, is charged with one count of destroying, altering, and falsifying records, documents and tangible objects in a federal investigation, specifically information on his computer. He is also charged with making materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statements in a federal terrorism investigation.

According to the indictment, after the photos were released of the suspected bombers, Matanov allegedly deleted information from his computer, including references to past Internet searches and made a number of false statements to investigators.

Authorities said Matanov realized the FBI would want to talk with him because he knew the suspects and shared their "philosophical justification for violence."

He allegedly called Tamerlan Tsarnaev 42 minutes after the bombings and had dinner with the brothers, along with making several other calls while the brothers were evading law enforcement.

A witness, who was not named in the indictment, told authorities that they mentioned to Matanov that they hoped the suspects weren't Muslim. Matanov initially responded by saying that the bombings could have had a just reason, such as being done in the name of Islam, that he would support the bombings if the reason were just or the attack had been done by the Taliban and that the victims had gone to paradise. He later said that the bombings were wrong.

The witness also claimed that Matanov told them that he knew the suspects pictured in the images released by the FBI. Another witness told investigators that Matanov had tried to get rid of cellphones before they were found by authorities, but that witness refused.

Matanov went to the Braintree Police Department four days after the bombing and told officers that he knew Tamerlan Tsarnaev but concealed the extent of their friendship and did not tell them that he had seen him twice that week.

Matanov has not been charged with participating in the bombings or knowing about them ahead of time.

The maximum sentence for the count of destruction of evidence is 20 years in prison and eight years for each false statement count. All four counts also carry a maximum of three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000.

Matanov was arraigned in federal court and was ordered held without bail after a 15 minute hearing. The judge decided this after prosecutors said he was a flight risk.

He's been appointed a lawyer after he said he couldn't afford one. He hasn't been asked to enter a plea.

His attorney said in a press conference that Matanov received political asylum. He says his client is frightened and he did not say anything that was intended to mislead FBI.
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