Tags: Boston Marathon Bombings | Editor's Pick | Exclusive Interviews | Dershowitz | Case | Friends | Tsarnaev

Dershowitz: Government Has Strong Case Against 2 Friends of Tsarnaev

By Bill Hoffmann   |   Wednesday, 01 May 2013 06:02 PM

The case against the two Kazakhstan men charged Wednesday with conspiracy to obstruct justice in the Boston Marathon bombings is a very strong one, famed Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz told Newsmax TV.

“If you get a phone call from somebody who told you previously he knew how to make a bomb and you know there was an explosion . . . and the picture of the two suspects [is] on television — and you get called from somebody saying, quick get rid of my computer and knapsack, you either know or should know at that point that you're obstructing justice,’’ Dershowitz said on “The Steve Malzberg Show.’’

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Federal officials have charged the two along with a third friend of accused Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev of helping the 19-year-old cover his tracks.

“So I don't think they're going to have a hard time making an obstruction of justice case.’’
But while the case against Azamat Tazhayakov and Dias Kadyrbayev is solid, the charges against a third teenager — Robel Phillipos, who allegedly made false statements to federal agents — is less than airtight.

“The lying . . . that's a very difficult case because most people don't know that if you ever tell a lie to any federal agent, that's a crime,’’ Dershowitz said.

“Even though you're not under oath, even though you haven't been warned about it, you don't have a lawyer.

“And juries aren't as sympathetic because every juror says to himself, ‘you know, have I ever lied to a cop who stopped me and asked me why am I speeding,’ and I said, ‘Well I really have a sick kid at home.’’’

Both Tazhayakov and Kadyrbayev, who are not American citizens, have been in custody on separate alleged immigration violations, which gives the government greater flexibility in dealing with them, according to Dershowitz, a Newsmax contributor.

“The government has options with the noncitizens. They can either deport them or prosecute them or do both . . . They can prosecute them first and then deport them afterward,’’ he said.

“So the government has much more power over these guys to squeeze tight.’’

Dershowitz said the government’s charge that evidence was destroyed by discarding the computer “is particularly serious because I can't imagine a more important piece of evidence than a computer.

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“A computer not only looks backwards, it looks forward. It can tell if there were other plots, if they were planning trips to New York or elsewhere,” he explained. “It could indicate who this person might have been in contact with in the past, what websites he might have accessed — so throwing away a computer is as serious a crime as imaginable.’’

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