Tsarnaev witnesses relocated from Revere to undisclosed site
REVERE — Six defense witnesses for convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev who were staying in a hotel near Logan International Airport have been moved to another location outside the city, the Revere police chief said Saturday.
Chief Joseph Cafarelli said he was told that the witnesses staying at the Hampton Inn on Lee Burbank Highway left the hotel Saturday morning with the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
He said he does not know where the witnesses were taken.
“God as my judge, I didn’t even ask. I don’t want to know,” Cafarelli said in a phone interview. “All that matters to me is that they’re not in the city of Revere.”
Revere officers who had been sent to the hotel to keep traffic moving around the area have also left, Cafarelli said.
A spokeswoman for the FBI’s Boston division declined to comment, citing “security concerns and the ongoing trial.”
Tsarnaev’s defense team is scheduled to begin presenting evidence in the penalty portion of the trial Monday in US District Court in Boston.
They are expected to call upon Tsarnaev’s relatives for assistance as they seek to convince a jury that he should be spared the death penalty.
Reached by phone, Miriam Conrad, one of Tsarnaev’s lawyers, declined to comment. Other members of his defense team did not immediately return messages or e-mails Saturday.
Mayor Dan Rizzo said he was pleased the witnesses left Revere, where reporters had been gathering outside the hotel since Thursday when the witnesses were believed to have arrived in Boston.
“Their guests had to endure a couple of days worth of media scrutiny,” Rizzo said.
“To have witnesses staying there that were close to the perpetrator of that awful crime, it had to be very difficult.”
Throughout the witnesses’ stay, however, Rizzo said the federal government provided “plenty of security” and city residents, hotel guests, and employees were kept safe.
“We’re just happy that this part is over,” he said.
On Friday, Kathy Cucchiello, the hotel’s general manager, told reporters that some people canceled reservations after learning that defense witnesses for Tsarnaev were staying there.
A receptionist at the hotel said Saturday that no one there was available to comment.
Cucchiello did not respond to a voicemail or e-mail seeking comment.