July 7, 2014 4:29 am

Testimony to begin in trial of Boston Marathon suspect’s friend

In this May 13, 2014 file courtroom sketch, defendant Azamat Tazhayakov, a college friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, sits during a hearing in federal court in Boston.

AP Photo/Jane Flavell Collins, File

BOSTON – Testimony is set to begin this week in the federal trial of a friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Azamat Tazhayakov is accused of removing a backpack and other items from Tsarnaev’s dorm room at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth several days after the bombings.

Prosecutors say Tazhayakov and another college friend, Dias Kadyrbayev, took the backpack containing fireworks out of Tsarnaev’s room after they realized he was a suspect in the deadly attack. Twin bombs placed near the finish line of the 2013 marathon killed three people and injured more than 260.

READ MORE: Boston Marathon bombing suspect to ask that his trial be moved outside Boston

Tazhayakov has pleaded not guilty to obstruction of justice and conspiracy charges.

Opening statements are scheduled for Monday, followed by testimony from the first witnesses.

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