AFFIDAVIT OF MARET TSARNAEVA CONCERNING THE PROSECUTION OF DZHOKHAR TSARNAEV
Mindful that this affidavit may be filed or displayed as an offer of proof with her authorization in public proceedings contemplated by the laws of the United States of America, and in reliance upon Title 28 of the United States Code, Section 1746, Maret Tsarnaeva deposes and says:
I am the paternal aunt of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev who has been prosecuted before the United States District Court for Massachusetts upon indictment of a federal grand jury returned on June 27, 2013, for causing one of two explosions on Boylston Street in Boston on April 15, 2013. In the count for conspiracy, certain other overt acts of wrongdoing are mentioned. As I understand the indictment, if Dzhokhar did not carry and detonate an improvised explosive device or pressure-cooker bomb as alleged, all thirty counts fail, although perhaps some lingering questions, about which I offer no comment here, might remain for resolution, subject to guarantees of due process of law, within the jurisdiction of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
I am currently living in Grozny, the capital of Chechnya which is a republic within the Russian Federation. My academic training included full-time studies in a five-year program of the Law Faculty at the Kyrgyz State University, and I also hold the degree of master of laws (LL. M.), with focus on securities laws, granted by the University of Manitoba while I lived in Canada. I am qualified to practice law in Kyrgyzstan. I am fluent in Russian, Chechen, and English, and am familiar with other languages. I am prepared to testify under oath in public proceedings in the United States, if my expenses are paid, and if my personal safety and right of return to my home in Chechnya are adequately assured in advance.
Aside from other anomalies and other aspects of the case on which I make no comment here, I am aware of several photo exhibits, upon which the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) relied, or of evidence which their crime laboratory has produced, and certain other reports or material. Together, these plainly show that Dzhokhar was not carrying a large, nylon, black backpack, including a white-rectangle marking at the top, and containing a heavy pressure-cooker bomb, shortly before explosions in Boston on April 15, 2013, as claimed by the FBI and as alleged in the indictment for both explosions. On the contrary, these photo exhibits show unmistakably that Dzhokhar was carrying over his right shoulder a primarily white backpack which was light in weight, and was not bulging or sagging as would have been evident if it contained a heavy pressure-cooker bomb. The only reasonable conclusion is that Dzhokhar was not responsible for either of the explosions in question.
On or about June 20-21, 2013, during their first trip to Russia, which lasted about ten days more or less, Judy Clarke and William Fick, lawyers from the federal public defender’s office in Boston, visited my brother Anzor Tsarnaev, and his wife Zubeidat, respectively the father and mother of Dzhokhar. The meeting was at the home of Dzhokhar’s parents in Makhachkala which is in the republic of Dagestan adjacent to the republic of Chechnya, and about three hours’ drive from Grozny. My mother, my sister Malkan, and I were present at this meeting. Zubeidat speaks acceptable English. Mr. Fick is fluent in Russian.
Laying aside other details of the conversation on June 20-21, 2013, I wish to note the following:
— The lawyers from Boston strongly advised that Anzor and Zubeidat refrain from saying in public that Dzhokhar and his brother Tamerlan were not guilty. They warned that, if their advice were not followed, Dzhokhar’s life in custody near Boston would be more difficult;
— Mme Clarke and Mr. Fick also requested of Anzor and Zubeidat that they assist in influencing Dzhokhar to accept the legal representation of the federal public defender’s office in Boston. Mr. Fick revealed that Dzhokhar was refusing the services of the federal public defender’s office in Boston, and sending lawyers and staff away when they visited him in custody. In reaction to the suggestion of Mr. Fick, lively discussion followed;
— As Dzhokhar’s family, we expressed our concern that the federal public defender’s office in Boston was untrustworthy, and might not defend Dzhokhar properly, since they were paid by the government of the United States which was prosecuting him, as many believe for political reasons. Dzhokhar’s parents expressed willingness to engage independent counsel, since Dzhokhar did not trust his government-appointed lawyers. Mr. Fick reacted by saying that the government agents and lawyers would obstruct independent counsel;
— I proposed that Dzhokhar’s family hire independent counsel to work with the federal public defender’s office in order to assure proper and effective representation of Dzhokhar. Mr. Fick replied that, if independent counsel were hired by the family, the federal public defender’s office in Boston would withdraw;
— Mr. Fick then assured Anzor and Zubeidat that the United States Department of Justice had allotted $5 million to Dzhokhar’s defense, and that the federal public defender’s office in Boston intended to defend Dzhokhar properly. Zubeidat then and there said little concerning assurances of Mr. Fick. But for my part, I never believed that the federal public defender’s office in Boston ever intended to defend Dzhokhar as promised. And my impressions from what happened during the trial lead me to believe that the federal public defender’s office in Boston did not defend Dzhokhar competently and ethically.
In any event, I am aware that, following the meeting on June 20-21, 2013, Mme Clarke and Mr. Fick continued to spend time with Anzor and Zubeidat, and eventually persuaded Zubeidat to sign a typed letter in Russian to Dzhokhar, urging him to cooperate wholeheartedly with the federal public defender’s office in Boston. I am informed by my sister Malkan that Zubeidat gave the letter to the public defenders, shortly before their departure from Russia on or about June 29, 2013, for delivery to Dzhokhar.
During subsequent trips of Mme Clarke and Mr. Fick to see Dzhokhar’s parents inMakhachkala, the strategy for defending Dzhokhar was explained, as I learned from my sister Malkan. The public defender’s office in Boston intended to contend at trial, as actually has happened since, that Tamerlan, now deceased, was the mastermind of the crime, and that Dzhokhar was merely following his big brother. I was firmly opposed to this strategy as morally and legally wrong, because Dzhokhar is not guilty, as FBI-generated evidence shows. Some ill-feeling has since developed between myself and Dzhokhar’s parents over their acquiescence.
On or about June 19, 2014, during their visit to Grozny over nearly two weeks, three staff members from the public defender’s office in Boston visited my mother and sisters in Grozny. I am told that they also visited Dzhokhar’s parents in Makhachkala.
The personnel visiting my mother and sisters in Grozny on or about June 19, 2014, included one Charlene, who introduced herself as an independent investigator, working in and with the federal public defender’s office in Boston; another by the name of Jane, a social worker who claimed to have spoken with Dzhokhar; and a third, by the name of Olga, who was a Russian-English interpreter from New Jersey. They did not leave business cards, but stayed at the main hotel in Grozny, hence I presume that their surnames can be ascertained.
I was not present at the meeting in Grozny on or about June 19, 2014, but my sister Malkan, who was present, called me by telephone immediately after the meeting concluded. She revealed to me then the details of the conversation at the meeting. Malkan and I have since spoken about the visit on several occasions.
Malkan speaks Russian and Chechen and is willing to testify under oath in public proceedings in the United States through an interpreter in Russian, if her expenses are paid, and if her personal safety and right of return to her home in Chechnya are adequately assured in advance. She relates, and has authorized me to state for her that, during the conversation on June 19, 2014, in Grozny, Charlene the independent investigator stated flatly that the federal public defender’s office in Boston knew that Dzhokhar was not guilty as charged, and that their office was under enormous pressure from law enforcement agencies and high levels of the government of the United States not to resist conviction.
This affidavit is executed outside of the United States, but the foregoing account is true to the best of my knowledge, information, and belief, and subject to the pains and penalties of perjury under the laws of the United States of America.
Given on this ____17______ day of _____April_______, 2015.
/s/ Maret Tsarnaeva [Russian script]