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Boston Bombing News: Phillipos Trial – Tazhayakov Testifies

Robel Phillipos

Robel Phillipos

What can be counted as the second day at trial in the case of US v Robel Kidane Phillipos began at 9.00 am at Moakley Courthouse in the city of Boston today, (10/07/14), with Judge P. Woodlock presiding, Stephanie Siegmann and John Capin in court for the prosecution and Susan Church and Derege Demissie for the defense.

Witness Testimony & Cross Examination:

After a brief discussion regarding the fact that the time of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s apprehension in Watertown had been erroneously recorded in some court documents, (7.00 pm instead of 8.45 pm), FBI Special Agent Dwight Schwader ( Dept. of Transportation), took the stand. Whilst the prosecution sought to obtain confirmation from SA Schwader that Robel Phillipos was aware that a camera was present in the interview room at the Massachusetts State Police barracks where he was questioned at one point, (in addition to being observed, Robel Phillipos’ questioning could also be listened to by other agents in another room),and where he ultimately signed a “confession”, the defense sought to emphasize their client’s level of cooperation with investigators. It was admitted that Phillipos handed his cell phone to the FBI upon their first request and that he was in fact forthcoming as regards his friendship with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Azamat Tazhayakov and Dias Kadyrbayev , providing contact information for all three.

In addition to Phillipos’ interview at the MA SP barracks on two earlier interviews which took place in an FBI agent’s vehicle at Price Chopper supermarket parking lot in the city of Worcester were detailed. (During the first of these interviews Phillipos’ mother called and asked to speak with her son. Her request was denied and she was asked to call back later.) The first of these interviews was said to have taken nearly two hours and the second little over a half hour. Phillipos’ defense asked SA Schwader to confirm that their client gave the FBI enough information for them to be able to confirm his version of events but the agent’s response was that this had not been a priority at that time and that the FBI’s priority had been the apprehension of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. (I personally found it a little odd that SA Schwader failed to mention Tamerlan Tsarnaev and the FBI’s presumed intention to apprehend him also at this point.)

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Firedoglake.com. Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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