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Boston Marathon bombing: Trial date set for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's friends

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(Read caption) This undated photo shows, from left, Azamat Tazhayakov and Dias Kadyrbayev, from Kazakhstan, with Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in Times Square in New York. A federal judge on Wednesday set a June trial date for Messrs. Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov, and one other friend of Mr. Tsarnaev.

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A federal judge has set a June trial date for the three ex-students accused of obstructing investigations in the case against their college friend, alleged Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. The summer trial date is significantly earlier than the 2015 date two of the defendants’ attorneys had wanted.

The trial will begin on June 23. Lawyers for two of the friends, Dias Kadyrbayev and Robel Phillipos, had pushed for the trial to start next January; the attorneys representing Azamat Tazhayakov, the third friend, had asked for a date in mid-July.

“We have one chance, and it has to be done right,” said Robert Stahl, a lawyer for Mr. Kadyrbayev. Preparing for a June trial date would be a "herculean task."

US District Court Judge Douglas Woodlock concluded that delaying the trial past early summer would violate the defendants’ right to a speedy trial. He also said that the trial should be kept "focused," rejecting the defense attorneys' contention that more time is needed to thoroughly analyze piles of electronic material.

Kadyrbayev and Mr. Tazhayakov are accused of removing a laptop and a backpack containing fireworks from Mr. Tsarnaev's dorm room on April 18 after seeing news reports that identified their college friend as a suspect in the attacks three days earlier. Tsarnaev also sent a text to Kadyrbayev that said: “If yu want yu can go to my room and take what's there.”

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