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WASHINGTON, January 14 (Sputnik) — Lawyers of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked the Massachusetts court overseeing the trial to suspend jury selection for at least a month, due to last week’s Islamist terrorist attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, according to court documents filed Tuesday.
“Defendant, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev…respectfully requests that this Court suspend jury selection for at least one month in light of the recent terrorist attacks in France,” the motion to suspend jury selection said. “This measure would allow some time for the extraordinary prejudice flowing from these events – and the comparison of those events to those at issue in this case – to diminish.”
Tsarnaev’s lawyers argued that following last week’s terrorist attacks the press, commentators and politicians drew parallels between events in Paris and the Boston Marathon bombing.
“The supposed parallels included the fact that the suspects were brothers, that they reportedly were influenced by the lectures and writings of Anwar al-Awlaki, that they were ‘home-grown’ terrorists, and that they attacked civilians in a Western city,” the lawyers argued, making the point that such parallels “so widely expressed cannot be lost on potential jurors.”
On January 7, the third day of jury selection in the Boston Marathon bombing trial, two gunmen killed 12 people at the French satirical magazine’s office. The two brothers, Cherif and Said Kouachi, were later killed by French counter-terrorism forces in a shootout. They reportedly had ties to al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. The following day another gunman, Amedy Coulibaly, killed four people in a kosher supermarket before being killed by French security forces.
Tuesday’s motion is not the first time the lawyers of Tsarnaev, who is accused of carrying out the Boston Marathon bombing with his brother Tamerlan, have sought to postpone the trial. The presiding judge denied on January 2 a last ditch effort by Tsarnaev’s defense lawyers to postpone the trial and move the location outside of Boston.
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