Khairullozhon Matanov, a friend of suspected Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was denied bail Monday in a Boston court over last month’s charges that he impeding the investigation into the bombing.
Magistrate Judge Marianne B. Bowler expressed her doubts that the 23-year-old Quincy man and Kyrgyzstan citizen would remain in Massachusetts until trial.
Matanov, who came to the US legally in 2010 and worked as a taxivab driver, is said to have had extended contact with the Tsarnaev brothers in the hours and days after the attacks, including dinner at a restaurant the day of the bombings. Prosecutors also claim that Matanov told an unidentified witness that he sympathized with the attackers and believed the bombing “could have had a just reason.”
Matanov’s court-appointed lawyer, Edward Hayden, told the judge that he has found an apartment for Matanov to stay in, but that apparently wasn’t good enough for Bowler.
The government is reportedly trying to paint a picture of Matanov funding terrorism abroad, but Hayden said he was simply sending money to his family.
“It had nothing to do with terrorism,” Hayden reportedly said.
Hayden did acknowledge that Matanov used a false name when wiring the money, but said it was done as a means to evade paying taxes, Valencia reported.
Hayden reportedly said Matanov offered this unprompted information to the FBI, which was reportedly tracking Matanov for a year and had met with Matanov five times.
Hayden also reportedly said that the prosecution has not provided any evidence of the charges.
US Attorney Scott Garland responded by saying that Matanov only opened up to law enforcement after it became “inevitable” that he was the target of an investigation, reported The Boston Globe.
He also said Matanov hadn’t been completely truthful with police. “Some of the things were true, some of them were misleading. ... In some of the things that were material to the investigation, to the ongoing investigation, some of the things were misleading.”
In arguing against bail, Garland reportedly said that Matanov is a flight risk because he wired money to people across the globe.
Matanov was taken out of the court room, presumably headed back to the Plymouth County House of Corrections, where he has been held in isolation since his arrest.
He is facing one charge of destroying, altering, and falsifying records, documents, and tangible objects in a federal investigation and three counts of making false, fictitious, or fraudulent statements in a federal terrorism investigation.
The indictment goes on to allege that Matanov deleted hundreds of files from his computer, cleared his Internet search history, and knowingly lied to federal investigators about several things, including when he learned the Tsarnaev brothers were suspects and whether they were present at the restaurant the night of the attacks.
The US Attorney’s Office said the maximum sentence for the charges against Matanov include 20 years for the destruction of evidence and eight years for each count of making a false statement. All four counts can also be punished by a maximum of three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.
Prosecutors made clear that Matanov is not accused of participating in the bombings or knowing about them before they took place.
Read the full indictment here.