Lawyers for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the accused Boston Marathon bomber, have again asked a federal judge to lift special prison restrictions that have been placed on him, saying the restrictions have allowed the FBI to monitor their defense strategy.
The lawyers said in a court filing Thursday that the FBI has been monitoring the case and that the Bureau of Prisons has tried to screen digital documents they have tried to view with Tsarnaev, in violation of his constitutional rights to prepare his case without government interference.
“These obstacles thwart preparation of important parts of the defense case . . . and also threaten the integrity of attorney work product,” the lawyers said, adding that the US Supreme Court has agreed that a defendant’s rights to a lawyer “grants attorneys a zone of privacy within which to prepare the client’s case and plan strategy, without undue interference.”
Federal prosecutors did not immediately respond to the defense team’s complaint.
The defense lawyers first asked US District Court Judge George A. O’Toole Jr. in October to ease the tight restrictions, called special administrative measures, that have been placed on Tsarnaev at the federal prison at Fort Devens in Ayer, where he is being held. They argued that restrictions such as excessive monitoring of documents and limitations on who can visit Tsarnaev interfered with their representation.
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