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Phillipos, friend of Tsarnaev, released from jail

May 6, 2013 at 5:23 PM   |   Comments

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BOSTON, May 6 (UPI) -- Robel Phillipos, charged with lying to investigators after the Boston Marathon bombings, was released Monday on $100,000 bond, court officials said.

The 19-year-old college student is one of three friends of suspected marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev arrested last week after being questioned about removing a backpack and fireworks from Tsarnaev's college dorm room, three days after the April 15 attack.

Phillipos appeared in court Monday afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Marianne Bowler, who approved an agreement between his attorney and federal prosecutors that requires Phillipos wear an electronic monitor and be kept under home confinement at a home other than his own, The Boston Globe reported.

During the weekend, his lawyers argued he is not a flight risk and had nothing to do with the marathon bombings, adding Phillipos was "frightened and confused" by investigators' questions.

Two Kazakh students, Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov, both 19, are charged with conspiring to obstruct justice and destroy evidence. Phillipos, an American of Ethiopian descent, is charged with lying to federal investigators. Each was a student at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, where they knew Tsarnaev, NBC said.

A laptop computer belonging to Tsarnaev was found and is in the hands of investigators, CNN reported.

Robert Stahl, an attorney for Kadyrbayev, told ABC News his client turned over Tsarnaev's laptop to the FBI "the very first time" they came to see him -- four days after the twin April 15 blasts in which three people were killed and more than 260 were injured -- but did not think the items had any value as evidence. He denied Kadyrbayev knew Tsarnaev was involved in the bombing at the time.

Kadyrbayev posted photos on a Russian social networking site, VKontakte, The New York Times reported. One shows Kadyrbayev, Tazhayakov, Tsarnaev and two other friends in Times Square during a trip to New York last year.

Citing sources, ABC News said Thursday investigators hope to retrieve information from the laptop, including what deceased bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev told his wife, Kathryn Russell, in a telephone conversation in the days after the attack.

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