BOSTON — A judge has rejected a bail request from a friend of the dead Boston Marathon bombing suspect while he awaits trial on charges of impeding the investigation.
Khairullozhon Matanov, a friend of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, is accused of deleting computer files and lying when questioned about his relationship with Tamerlan and his younger brother, Dzhokhar.
Matanov’s lawyer, Edward Hayden, argued that Matanov, 23, who moved to the United States from Kyrgyzstan in 2010, went to police on his own the morning after the FBI released photos of the Tsarnaevs as suspects in the bombing. He identified the brothers and gave police their address and phone numbers.
Hayden, who initially did not make an argument for bail, said he has now found an apartment where Matanov can live, and is actively looking for a job for him. Matanov was fired from his job as a cab driver after he was indicted.
“This court has heard no evidence of how he obstructed this investigation or how he intended to obstruct this investigation,” Hayden argued.
He said the FBI knows Matanov “is just a hard-working guy driving that cab for about 15 to 18 hours per day.”
But Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott Garland, in arguing against bail, said Matanov has sent money to friends and family around the world, making it possible that he could have a “soft landing” in another country if he decided to flee the United States.
“These are people who might want to take him in because they owe him some sort of a debt, even if it’s just a debt of friendship,” Garland said.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Marianne Bowler agreed with prosecutors that Matanov poses a flight risk and rejected his request to be released on bail.
Authorities say the Tsarnaev brothers planted two pressure cooker bombs at the marathon last year, killing three and wounding more than 260. Tamerlan died following a shootout with police several days later. Dzhokhar is awaiting trial and faces the possibility of the death penalty.