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Decision soon on trial start for Boston bombing suspect

19 september 2014, 13:49
Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov in the courtroom. ©Reuters
Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov in the courtroom. ©Reuters

  A defense request to delay the US trial of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will be decided soon, a judge said Thursday, AFP reports.

During the preliminary hearing in Boston, lawyers for Tsarnaev, 21, who faces the death penalty for the attack last year that killed three and wounded 264, repeated their argument they could not be ready if the trial begins as scheduled on November 3.

They have asked the judge to push back the start until at least September next year. They have also asked for the trial to be moved to Washington, saying their client cannot receive a fair hearing in Boston.

"This is a case with an enormous amount of evidence. Now it turns out we are still receiving materials," said lawyer David Bruck.

Federal Judge George O'Toole said he would soon issue his written response to the request, which prosecutors have opposed.

He also rejected a request from Tsarnaev's lawyers for a specific hearing to discuss their call for a venue change.

The judge said he would decide on the location based on written arguments the two sides have filed in recent months.

Tsarnaev, an ethnic Chechen Muslim and naturalized US citizen, is accused of planting two homemade bombs with his brother, Tamerlan, near the finish line of the Boston Marathon in 2013.

Tamerlan was killed three days after the bombing during a police manhunt while the pair were on the run.

Dzhokhar, who has not been seen at court since he pleaded not guilty on July 10, 2013, was charged with 30 federal crimes, including using a weapon of mass destruction to cause death.

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