Tsarnaev Pal Guilty of Impeding Boston Inquiry

Azamat Tazhayakov convicted of obstruction of justice
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 21, 2014 12:43 PM CDT
In this May 13, 2014 file courtroom sketch, Azamat Tazhayakov, a college friend of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, sits during a hearing in federal court in Boston.   (Jane Flavell Collins)

(Newser) – A college friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been convicted of impeding the investigation into the attack. Azamat Tazhayakov was found guilty today of obstruction of justice and conspiracy. Prosecutors say he agreed with a friend who removed Tsarnaev's backpack from his dorm room several days after the 2013 bombing. The backpack contained altered fireworks.

Tazhayakov's lawyers argued that the other friend removed the items from the dorm room at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth and then threw them away. Prosecutors told the jury that both men shared in the decision to get rid of the items to protect Tsarnaev. The friend, Dias Kadyrbayev, faces a separate trial in September. Tazhayakov faces up to 25 years in prison, notes the Boston Globe; sentencing is set for October. (Read more Boston Marathon bombing stories.)

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