EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Boston and Beyond

June 20, 2014

Suspect's friend wants jurors quizzed on bombings

(Continued)

Tazhayakov and Dias Kadyrbayev are accused of removing a backpack containing fireworks and a laptop computer from Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s dorm room at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth three days after the bombings. All three were students at UMass. Kadyrbayev faces a separate trial in September.

A third friend, Robel Phillipos, is accused of lying to investigators. He also faces a September trial.

In their proposed questionnaire, Tazhayakov’s lawyers ask a range of questions about potential jurors’ connections to the marathon, including whether they have ever run or watched the iconic race. The questionnaire also asks potential jurors if they participated in any kind of vigil, rally or fundraiser related to the marathon bombings.

In a separate court filing, federal prosecutors objected to some of the questions submitted by Tazhayakov’s lawyers, including those about Tazhayakov’s religious affiliation, “which the defendant has sought to exclude and the government does not intend to introduce.”

Prosecutors, in their proposed questionnaire, ask more general questions, including: “The indictment in this case alleges that the defendant obstructed the Boston Marathon bombing investigation. Can you put aside anything that you have read or seen on any media outlets about the bombing or the obstruction investigation and decide this case based only on the information presented during the trial?”

The questionnaire also asks potential jurors if they personally know a victim of the bombings. And like Tazhayakov’s lawyers, they also want potential jurors asked if anyone they know was affected in any way by the bombings.

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