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Key Piece of Evidence in Boston Marathon Attack Case Up in Smoke

© AP Photo / FBI, FileDzhokhar Tsarnaev
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev - Sputnik International
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The defense attorney for accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev said Wednesday that her client had indeed participated in the April 2013 bombings that killed three people and wounded more than 260 others. But, a key piece of evidence that everyone expected to be included in the trial does not exist.

“There is little we dispute. It was him,” said Judy Clarke in US District Court in Boston, alleging that it was the older brother, Tamerlan  who was responsible for all the violence. This doesn’t surprise the jurors, a majority of whom said during the pretrial that they believe he is guilty but are willing to reconsider their point of view. US District Court Judge George O’Toole refused four defense requests to move the trial away from Boston.

“It was Tamerlan who self-radicalized. It was Dzhokhar who followed,” Clarke told the jam-packed courtroom. “Tamerlan had influence” over his younger brother, Clarke said, because of his age, the culture they were from and because of Tamerlan’s forceful personality. The younger brother must be held responsible but “this was a path laid by his brother that led him to Boylston Street.”

A courtroom sketch shows Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (C) during the jury selection process in his trial at the federal courthouse in Boston, Massachusetts January 15, 2015 - Sputnik International
Lawyers: Accused Boston Marathon Bomber Can’t Get Fair Trial in City

Prosecutor William Weinreb painted a different picture in the courtroom, giving graphic details of the injuries to the dead, and arguing that the younger Tsarnaev hid his radical Islamic views from friends, privately reading terrorist writings.  “He believed the US government is the enemy of Muslim people. He did the bombing because he thought it would help secure him a place in paradise.”

In a stunning revelation it came to light that a video purportedly showing Dzhokhar Tsarnaev dropping the deadly backpack behind victims at the marathon on April 15, 2013 is not real at all.

Tsarnaev’s lawyers want the court to remove from evidence a news conference video in which former Boston FBI Special Agent Richard DesLauriers described video footage and says Tsarnaev dropped the backpack where the victims were and it later exploded. Tsarnaev’s lawyers say those words were used to convict Tsarnaev in the media, when all the video shows is him walking around.

U.S. District Court Judge George O’Toole ordered the defense and prosecution to edit the recording of the FBI press conference and he reserved the right to rule on the defense’s request to withdraw the entire recording if both sides can’t agree.

Because Tsarnaev faces the death penalty, the trial will be held in two stages, first deciding on culpability and then if the crime warrants a capital punishment sentence.

 

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