Prosecutors claim Robel Phillipos, a friend and classmate of 20-year-old Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, is “a liar who misled terrorism investigators.”
Phillipos’ lawyers claim evidence will show he should have never been charged.
Authorities said Robel Phillipos faces up to 16 years in prison in connection with two federal counts of lying to authorities investigating the deadly April attack. Defense lawyers Derege Demissie and Susan Church said the 19-year-old will continue to fight the allegations against him after efforts to get authorities to dismiss the charges failed.
Phillipos’ lawyers maintain the case rests on his being subjected to intense questioning without benefit of counsel, while also portraying him as an upstanding young man. Originally from Ethiopia, he appears to have emigrated to the United States with his single-mother, who raised him.