Judge says no bail for Tsarnaev friend

Khairullozhon Matanov
Facebook page of Adam Leo
Khairullozhon Matanov

A federal magistrate judge ruled Monday that a Quincy cab driver and friend of the suspected Boston Marathon bombers who has been charged with impeding an investigation into the attack will be held without bail.

Khairullozhon Matanov, a 23-year-old Kyrgyzstan national, was charged last month with destroying evidence in a terrorism investigation and with making false statements to federal agents in a terrorism investigation. On Monday, he sought to be released while awaiting trial.

“I’m satisfied that the government has met its burden’’ of proving that the defendant constitutes a flight risk, US Magistrate Judge Marianne B. Bowler said from the bench after a brief hearing in US District Court in Boston. Bowler cited the prosecution’s statements that Matanov has multiple contacts overseas and that he has no ties to the local community.


Matanov, who faces up to 20 years in prison, looked weary and disappointed with Bowler’s ruling. Dressed in orange prison garb, he was escorted from the courtroom in handcuffs.

Get Fast Forward in your inbox:
Forget yesterday's news. Get what you need today in this early-morning email.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

Prosecutors accuse Matanov of deleting material from his computer once he learned that the FBI would want to interview him about his relationship with brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the alleged bombers. Authorities allege that Matanov also lied to agents about details of encounters he had with the brothers during the week of the bombings in April 2013, including a dinner on the night of the attack.

Matanov’s lawyer, Edward Hayden, had requested Monday’s hearing to contest his client’s detention. Hayden did not ask for bail after Matanov was arrested last month because Matanov would have had no job and nowhere to stay.

Hayden said Monday that Matanov’s mother has since sent him money to pay for an apartment and that he believes Matanov could obtain a job.

Hayden also played down the charges against his client, saying prosecutors have not established that anything Matanov said or did actually impeded the investigation.


Hayden said his client was forthcoming with authorities and had volunteered his information to Braintree police the day after authorities released photos of the Tsarnaev brothers as the suspected bombers.

Authorities have not alleged that Matanov was involved in any terrorism activities, after the FBI had agents follow him over the last year, Hayden said. “They knew he was just a hard-working guy driving that cab for 15 to 18 hours a day.”

Bowler said, however, it gave her “pause’’ that Matanov has contacts across the world . The judge added, “The defendant has no ties to the community or family in the United States.”

Milton J. Valencia can be reached at MValencia@