Lawyer: Leaks Could Impact Trial of Bombing Suspect’s Friend

Attorney Paul Glickman, the new lawyer for Khairullozhon Matanov, filed a motion Thursday asking for a hearing concerning leaks to the press

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The new lawyer for a friend of the brothers suspected of carrying out the Boston Marathon bombings claims his client's right to a fair trial has been "jeopardized severely" by leaks and ensuing media reports.

Paul Glickman, who was appointed as the new lawyer for Khairullozhon Matanov just last month, filed a motion Thursday asking for a hearing concerning leaks to the press based on the fact that the full transcript of Matanov's initial interview with the Braintree Police is now "publicly available on the Internet."

[CLICK HERE to read the full motion.]

Matanov is accused of lying about contact he had with Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, including dinner at a restaurant the night of the attack in 2013. He isn't accused of participating in the bombings or knowing about them in advance.

In his motion, Glickman said "substantial parts" of the FBI reports on Matanov are quoted in a December 2014 Boston Magazine article by Michele McPhee entitled "Inside the Mind of a Killer." He said direct quotes from the reports show that McPhee received copies.

The quotations, he said, include:

  1. A statement that "Matanov and Tamerlan [Tsarnaev] 'did not have secrets.'"
  2. "During this conversation they discussed the bombings in Boston... Matanov suggested that maybe something blew up in a kitchen near the finish line, to which Tamerlan responded: 'Maybe, maybe not.'"
  3. "Tamerlan responded by asking whether Matanov thought the U.S. drones that dropped bombs in Pakistan and Afghanistan did not kill any children. 'So what if a kid dies," Tamerlan said. 'God will take care of him.'"
  4. "Tamerlan expressed glee over the bombings and called them the biggest thing since 9/11... Specifically, Tamerlan laughed at images of an old man running from the blast."

Glickman's motion said the Boston Magazine story also relies on "information which appears to be from government sources" which contains "inaccuracies, misconstrued quotations, and non-factual dramatizations" of marathon bombing suspects Tamerland and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's interactions with Matanov.

"This media coverage insinuates that the government has information showing that Mr. Matanov had some insider knowleged of the marathon bombing or the Waltham murders - a connection which the Indictment does not allege, and the facts do not support," Glickman said in his motion. "At Mr. Matanov's detention hearing, the prosecution admitted that Mr. Matanov posed no danger to the community. Surely they would not have done so if they believed Mr. Matanov to have knowledge of these crimes."

Glickman said the "egregious leaks" have caused "extreme prejudice" to Matanov's right to a fair trial because they connect Matanov to the marathon bombings and allege "prior bad acts" not contained in the indictment.

He went on to request an evidentiary hearing to determine "the source and circumstances of the leaks and fashion a remedy to prevent future improper disclosures." If it is determined that the government is the source of the leaks, he asked the court to conduct a further hearing to impose sanctions and remedies.

Matanov's jury trial is set to start on June 8, 2015.

He has been held without bail since his arrest in May. He is a native of Kyrgyzstan and has previously been called a flight risk by a judge.

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