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Judge ‘Not Happy’ About Alleged Leaks in Tsarnaev Case

A federal judge has given prosecutors in the marathon bombings case a warning about speaking on the case to the media.

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AP

A judge said at a hearing Wednesday that he’s not happy with alleged leaks by the prosecution in the trial of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

“I’m not very happy about it,” U.S. District Court Judge George O’Toole said at Wednesday’s status conference. But he also said he thinks holding a hearing on the alleged leaks would only make matters worse.

Prosecutors have repeatedly denied that there have been any leaks, saying that some of the defense complaints relate to anniversary news stories about the bombing containing information that was already public.

Other issues that came up at Wednesday’s hearing were whether an FBI agent should be allowed to listen in when Tsarnaev visits with his sisters and his attorneys, motions to suppress evidence and scheduling.

Tsarnaev’s attorneys and the prosecution have been unable to this point to agree on scheduling of expert disclosures and reciprocal discovery. Tsarnaev’s attorneys asked Wednesday to present the witness lists in two phases, while the prosecution wanted to do it all at once.

The next status conference in the case is scheduled for Aug. 14. O’Toole said there may also be other hearings between now and then, depending on what motions are filed.

Tsarnaev’s attorneys did not file a motion to move his trial out of Boston at the hearing, but they have until the end of the day to do so.

Defense attorneys have been building a case that Tsarnaev can't get a fair trial in Boston because of all the emotions in this city about the marathon bombings and because of intense media coverage.

Authorities say Tsarnaev and his older brother, Tamerlan, planted two pressure cooker bombs near the finish of the 2013 Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring more than 260 others.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev died following a shootout with police. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty to 30 federal charges. He could face the death penalty.

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