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Robel Philipos arrested in connection with the Boston Bombings

Ethiopian News
May 3,2013

FBI made three more arrests in connection with “Boston bombing.”  While Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov are charged with “obstructing justice,” the third “suspect” Robel Philipos, 19 years old American citizen of Ethiopian descent is charged with “willfully making false statement.”  Robel is not implicated in the planning or execution of “Boston bombing.”

A report by International Business Times indicates that Robel was interviewed by FBI at three different times and his alleged crime is that he was not consistent in his words- which is apparently the ground for “willfully making false statement” charge.

Given the gravity of the matter following the way it was presented in the media and in light of Robel’s knowledge of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev as a student and a friend at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, possibly Robel was in a state of shock and hence it is possible that he might not remember everything he did. It might not be a case of “wilful false statement”

VOA East African service interviewed neighbours who have known Robel and his mother for well over ten years. Teklebirhan Mengistu, a neighbour, witnessed that Robel is friend to his kids and they went to Cambridge High School together, and even used to come to his place. Teklebirhan known Robel as a ‘courteous and disciplined’ boy and he knows that he is raised by a hardworking and loving single mother and that he is the only son.

Benyam Tamene, Boston-Massachusetts Ethiopian Association leader, gave his testimonials that he has known Robel as a bright student and reserved guy  in the community.

Dereje Demissie a lawyer of Ethiopian descent is representing Robel and Dereje  told Boston USA today and ABC journalists that “..he [Robel] has no knowledge of the incident…”

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