Jury selection to begin for marathon suspect's pal

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BOSTON (AP) — Jury selection is set to begin in the federal trial of a friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (joh-HAHR' tsahr-NEYE'-ehv) charged with obstruction of justice.

Azamat Tazhayakov (AZ'-maht tuh-ZAY'-uh-kahv) is accused of removing items from Tsarnaev's dorm room at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth several days after the deadly 2013 attack.

Prosecutors say Tazhayakov and another friend took Tsarnaev's backpack containing fireworks and threw the items away. They were later found in a New Bedford landfill.

Prosecutors say the men were trying to protect Tsarnaev after he was identified as a suspect in the bombing.

But Tazhayakov's lawyers say he wasn't trying to impede the investigation and cooperated fully with authorities.

Jury selection is scheduled to begin Monday. Opening statements are scheduled for July 7.

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