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Boston bomber friend Robel Phillipos released on bail

May 6, 2013

(AFP) BOSTON, Massachusetts — A 19-year-old friend of accused Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was ordered free on $100,000 bail Monday as he awaits trial for allegedly lying to investigators probing the attack.

Robel Phillipos, whose family emigrated from Ethiopia, was placed under house arrest, where he will be under the custody of his mother. He must also wear an electronic monitoring bracelet.

He was charged last week with lying to the authorities by denying that he had joined two Kazakh friends in Tsarnaev’s college dorm room when Tsarnaev was on the run from police after the April 15 bombing of the Boston Marathon.

The three young men are accused of going to the missing Tsarnaev’s room, where the Kazakhs — Azamat Tazhayakov and Dias Kadyrbayev — allegedly took his backpack and laptop computer.

The teen came to his hearing Monday in an orange jail uniform, his feet shackled. Under the terms of his house arrest, he will not be allowed out except to meet with his lawyer or for medical visits, Judge Marianne Bowler said.

Phillipos, who knew Tsarnaev from their studies at the University of Massachusetts in Dartmouth, faces up to eight years in prison if convicted. His next hearing is scheduled for May 17.

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