Dressed in a black suit and tie and surrounded by two dozen family supporters, a close friend of accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev pleaded not guilty Friday to charges that he lied to investigators during a terrorism probe.
The arraignment of Robel Phillipos, a 19-year-old former University of Massachusetts Dartmouth student from Cambridge, came after he was indicted about two weeks ago when negotiations to resolve his case collapsed. Phillipos is free on bail.
Two other UMass Dartmouth students, both from Kazakhstan, have also been charged with impeding the investigation, accused of taking potentially incriminating objects they found in Tsarnaev’s room while police were pursuing him.
The arraignment marked the first time the three men were named together in an indictment and formally charged. Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov had been indicted as a pair last month and already pleaded not guilty, but had to repeat the process Friday when Phillipos’s case was added. The Kazakh men repeated their pleas of not guilty.
Assistant US Attorney John A. Capin said he expects to call up to 20 witnesses in a trial, which could last two weeks. The case was continued to Oct. 29.
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