BOSTON – The decision to charge four friends of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects is facing some criticism as the first trial nears.
Opening statements are scheduled Monday in the federal trial of Azamat Tazhayakov (AZ'-maht tuh-ZAY'-uh-kahv), a college buddy of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (joh-HAHR' tsahr-NEYE'-ehv).
Tazhayakov is charged with conspiracy and obstruction of justice. Prosecutors say he and another friend removed items from Tsarnaev's dorm room several days after the bombings, but he is not accused of participating in the attacks or knowing about them in advance.
A third friend is charged with lying to investigators, while a fourth man was charged recently with lying about the extent of his relationship and contact with Tsarnaev's older brother, who died in a shootout.
Some experts say prosecutors have been overzealous in charging them.