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Grand Jury Indicts Friend Of Marathon Bombings Suspect

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Robel Phillipos (Image from YouTube)

Robel Phillipos (Image from YouTube)

BOSTON (CBS/AP) — Prosecutors say a friend of the surviving Boston Marathon bombing suspect has been indicted for allegedly making false statements to authorities.

Read: The Indictment (.pdf)

Authorities say Robel Phillipos is facing up to 16 years in prison in connection with two federal criminal counts.

Following his May arrest, a judge ordered the 19-year-old released on $100,000 bond on one count of lying to authorities.

Phillipos met bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev while they were students at University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

Phillipos’ lawyer released a statement Thursday afternoon.

We regret that the US Attorney’s office chose to indict rather than dismiss the charges against Robel Phillipos. Despite a commendable effort by both parties, we were not able to achieve a mutually satisfactory resolution. In time, it will be clear that this prosecution should not have been brought in the first place. It is clear that Phillipos had nothing to do with the removal of the backpack or destruction of potential evidence. He will continue to fight the allegations against him. He appreciates deeply the overwhelming support he continues to receive from his community and his family during this difficult time.

Two other friends have pleaded not guilty to allegations they conspired to obstruct justice by agreeing to destroy and conceal some of Tsarnaev’s belongings as he evaded authorities after the April 15 bombing.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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