Prosecutors Say Tsarnaev's Friends Knew About His Bomb Making Skills

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One of three former students suspected of helping to protect their friend Dzhokhar Tsarnaev after the Boston marathon bombings had his first day on trial on Monday. He faces obstruction of justice charges.  

The crux of the case against 20-year-old Azamat Tazhayakov, the first to go on trial in connection with the bombings, is an accusation that he and two friends removed several important items from Tsarnaev's dorm room, all while knowing his friend was a suspect in the bombings. The defense team, of course, disputes that take, and told the court today that there's "a lot of doubt in this case," as the Boston Globe reported. 

The AFP had details on two conversations flagged by the prosecution to build that case on Monday. First, that Tsarnaev told his friends he could make bombs a month before the bombing. US attorney Stephanie Siegmann said the following: 

Tsarnaev "shared his views that it was good to die as a martyr and with a smile on your face and you would go straight to heaven," she told the court.

"And he told you in that conversation that he could build a bomb and that it needed gun powder," she added, addressing the defendant.

The prosecution also read text messages in court: 

US prosecutors said the defendant texted Tsarnaev while he was on the run, and Siegmann read out messages in court.

"If you want to go to my room and take what's there," read Siegmann from one message.

"Ha Ha :)" Tazhayakov was said to have replied.

Tsarnaev himself won't go on trial until later this year. He faces about 30 criminal charges and is eligible for the death penalty. Tazhayakov could go to jail for up to 20 years if convicted. 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.