BOSTON – A friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev returned Tuesday to the witness stand in federal court, where prosecutors challenged Dias Kadyrbayev's claims that he was misled and confused when he made potentially incriminating statements to the FBI.
Kadyrbayev paused longer before responding than he had in Monday's questioning. He appeared to be relying more on the Russian translation provided to him through headphones in one ear.
He also said more frequently, "I don't recall." When asked about whether an agent had read him his Miranda rights, he repeatedly said: "I don't recall."
Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie Siegmann showed him two signed forms, both dated April 19, 2013, in which he acknowledges his Miranda rights and gives permission "voluntarily" for agents to search his apartment.
"There is no question in your mind that you consented to this search?" Siegmann asked.
After a long pause, Kadyrbayev said: "Excuse me, can you rephrase this?"
"You had consented to the search, correct?," Siegmann said.
"Yeah, I gave my consent," he said.
A few minutes later, she pressed further.
"You agreed to waive your rights and speak to the agents, right?"
The evidence-suppression hearing for Kadyrbayev, 20, stretched into a fifth day. But by subjecting himself to cross-examination, he gets to make his case for why the court should toss out his initial statements to the FBI, which led agents to Tsarnaev's backpack in a landfill. His trial is scheduled to begin Sept. 8.
Kadyrbayev arrived in court wearing an open-necked dress shirt and listening to Russian translations in one ear, as he had on Monday. Siegmann continued her cross-examination of Kadrybayev, a Kazakh national who faces up to 25 years in prison on obstruction of justice charges.
Lawyers for Kadyrbayev, Tsarnaev's college classmate, argue that the Russian-speaking University of Massachusetts student does not know enough English to have understood his legal rights when police questioned him.
Kadyrbayev testified Monday that when he was given a form to sign acknowledging his right to counsel, he asked an FBI agent whether he needed a lawyer.
" 'Oh, no no no,' " he said the agent told him. " 'You're not under arrest. You're just helping us out.' "
At that point, he said, he stopped reading the form and signed it.
Two other friends of Tsarnaev face charges. Azamat Tazhayakov is charged with obstruction of justice for allegedly working with Kadyrbayev to dispose of the backpack. Robel Phillipos is accused of lying to federal investigators. Both men attended the hearing. Tazhayakov will be tried June 30; Phillipos' trial will begin Sept. 29.
Tsarnaev's trial on 30 charges, including using a weapon of mass destruction to kill three people, is scheduled to begin Nov. 3 in Boston. His lawyers have asked the judge to move the trial elsewhere and to give them more time to prepare a defense.