Lawyer Arkady BUKH:
IMMIGRATION CASE AGAINST ONE OF KAZAKHSTAN STUDENTS ON HOLD
The situation around the case of two detained Kazakh students accused of destroying evidence related to the Boston explosions, is getting more intense. Meanwhile, many details are still vague. The lawyer of the Kazakh student Azamat Tazhayakov, Arkady Bukh, in an interview to Interfax-Kazakhstan shed some light on the case and shared new details.
- Mr. Bukh, could you update us on the criminal and immigration cases filed against our citizens? Why was the hearing scheduled for May 14 postponed?
- We filed a motion to postpone hearings scheduled for May 14 over the lack of evidence. All our evidences come down to the original indictment announced to the public. It basically includes the testimonies of two people - Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov. It says that Kadyrbayev took the backpack and laptop (that belonged to Jahar Tsarnaev - "IF-K"), returned to his apartment, and threw them away. As for my client, Azamat, he is said to give his consent in some way, which implies a conspiracy.а According to the U.S. legal definition of conspiracy, it could be a nod of his head, acquiescence, or any word he said. Prosecutors did not specify how exactly it was done.
As a result, the defense team has no evidence to clearly define the manner in which he gave his consent, as the indictment did not elaborate on that. So we asked for a little break to talk with the prosecutor's office and ascertain the ground of the charges. We were granted a permission to postpone the hearings. Due to the pressure of the media, and the publicity surrounding this case I do not think it will be a long delay; no more than a week or two. A new date will be set in a few days.
- What was a result of the preliminary hearing in the immigration case against Tazhayakov?
- The immigration hearing into a legal status of Tazhayakov in the United States was held on May 9.а In order to determine his legal presence in the U.S., his college was to confirm that he was a student there. But, of course, the college did not miss a chance to get rid of the student, who brought so much unwelcome publicity. They sabotaged all our efforts for cooperation with the immigration service.
As a result, the immigration judge said that he had no idea what was going on and that he did not really care. So, he advised to settle the criminal case first and then catch up from where we started with the immigration case. In the meantime, a so-called "immigration hold" was put on my client. If we bail Tazhayakov from jail, he will be transferred to an immigration jail. So, they have made it clear that they are not going to release him.
The Immigration Service, in fact, has frozen its case until the criminal case is over.
- Don't you think that a release under bail and immigration prison could be a better solution?
- It does not make much sense to get him out of the federal prison that has relatively good conditions and transfer him to an immigration jail with poorer conditions. It is not a reasonable move as long as the immigration situation remains unresolved.
- What are the chances of our citizens to be released?
- Since day one, we have lacked evidences and had exactly the same information as everyone else. A couple dozen pages of the prosecutor's indictmentа written by an agent is all we have. The practice shows that the FBI usually builds cases for months based on video and audio tracking records. I understand that this is not the case. This is the case, when people were literally taken away within a few hours without any preliminary preparation. Let's hope that the case would be weak, as cases hastily put together are rarely strong.
We hired a private investigator to conduct an independent investigation. Basically, three people are currently working on the case.
- Thank you for your time!
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