Dukakis Testifies in Marathon Bombing Trial

Former Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis told a jury that the ex-college student charged with lying to federal investigators probing the Boston Marathon bombings seemed “confused” after his FBI interview.

Dukakis, who ended his second stint as governor in 1991 and ran for president in 1988, knows the defendant, Robel Phillipos, because his wife worked with Phillipos’s mother as a social worker caring for refugees, he testified today in Boston federal court.

Phillipos, 20, is accused of lying about whether he witnessed two friends remove a backpack, fireworks casings and a laptop from bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s dorm room three days after the attack. Dukakis told jurors he spoke with Phillipos after the student was interviewed by agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

“He told me he had been questioned for five hours by the FBI,” Dukakis, 80, said under questioning by Phillipos’s lawyer, Derege Demissie.

“Did he sound confused?” the lawyer asked.

“Yes,” Dukakis replied.

The bombing near the marathon finish line on April 15, 2013, killed three people and wounded 260. Tsarnaev, 21, faces a possible death sentence if a jury finds him guilty at a separate trial set to start in January. Phillipos was a fellow student of Tsarnaev’s at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth.

Dukakis said his wife worked with Phillipos’s mother for several years and that the former student had visited his home as a child and was his guest at the 2004 Democratic National Convention.

The case is U.S. v. Kadyrbayev, 13-cr-10238, and the Tsarnaev case is U.S. v. Tsarnaev, 13-cr-10200, both in U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts (Boston).

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