The case of U.S. v Matanov has generated keen interest by many last week across the globe. Khairullozhon Matanov, a 23 year old taxi driver, was charged with obstructing the investigation into the bombings at last year’s Boston Marathon and concealing his interest in promoting religious violence.
According to the charges laid against Matanov, he allegedly “deleted hundreds of video files from his computer, erased his Internet search cache and lied about his links to the suspects, Tamerlan Tsarnaev and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev”who are the brothers accused in the Boston bombings.
Matanov who lives in Quincy, Massachusetts, originates from Kyrgyzstan, a neighbouring country to Chechnya in Central Asia where the Tsarnaev’s brothers were born. FBI investigators have now asserted that Matanov who was friendly with the brothers and shared their radical religious ideologies, took great care to conceal his association with them after the bombing last April, and misled the investigation as to the extent of their friendship. Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in a shootout with the armed forces a few days after the ill-fated marathon and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was shot and captured by the authorities after he engaged them in the said shoot-out in which his brother was killed. It is believed that Matanov then sought to help his friends by erasing incriminating files from his computer which contained elements of violence which might have associated the brothers in the Boston incident, and tried to pass off his mobile phones to random persons, according to the indictment.
However, investigations have revealed that Matanov communicated with the accused bombers by cell phone just 40 minutes after the bombs detonated which killed 3 and injured hundreds, and later entertained both brothers over dinner at a restaurant that night. The record also reveals that he maintained constant contact with the brothers by phone in the days that followed, before Tamerlan was killed and Dzhokhar captured. Although Matanov is not charged with planning or foreknowledge of the fatal event that occurred last Spring, he faces in excess of 20 years jail time if found guilty of destroying evidence after the fact, or lying in federal terror investigation.
At the hearing on May 30, 2014 Justice Marianne Bowler remanded the accused in custody as he is thought to be a possible flight risk, whilst appointing Edward Hayden as his court appointed attorney to represent him. Matanov is due to return to court on Tuesday June 4 for further preliminary hearings.
Summarized from an article written by Erik Larson and Phil Milford. Article can be found at http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-05-30/cab-driver-indicted-for-obstructing-boston-bombing-probe.html