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Michael Dukakis testifies for Robel Phillipos, Boston bombers' friend accused of lying to FBI

"We watched him grow up," described Dukakis of his relationship with Robel Phillipos.

By
Matt Bradwell
1988 Democratic Presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governer Michael Dukakis. UPI/Nell Redmond
1988 Democratic Presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governer Michael Dukakis. UPI/Nell Redmond | License Photo

BOSTON, Oct. 16 (UPI) -- Former governor of Massacheusetts and 1988 Democratic nominee for president Michael Dukakis took the stand in Boston to testify on behalf of a friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Robel Phillipos stands accused of lying to the FBI and local law enforcement about his actions and wherabouts in the three days following the attack that killed three an injured more than 260 people.

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"[Phillipos] told me he was questioned for five hours by the FBI," Dukakis testified according to the Boston Globe, adding, "he was so confused he didn't know what he said."

Dukakis and his wife have been family friends with Phillipos' mother for years and even took the defendant to the 2004 Democraic National Convention as his special guest.

"We watched him grow up."

After Phillipos failed to come home for days after the April 2013 attack, his mother contacted Dukakis in an attempt for help. It was then Dukakis spoke with Phillipos, after the then 19-year-old had been questioned by the FBI.

Authorities say Phillipos witnessed two other friends of Tsarnaev, both already convicted of obstruction of justice, removing evidence from a dorm room. Phillipos allegedly denied charges initially, before changing his story in a written confession.

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None of the friends are suspected to have had any knowledge of the Tsarnaev's plan.

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