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Tsarnaev friend Dias Kadyrbayev to change plea in obstruction case

Dias Kadyrbayev previously pleaded not guilty after allegedly trying to protect Tsarnaev in he wake of the deadly April 15, 2013 bombing.

Boston marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (R) poses with Azamat Tazhayakov (L) and Dias Kadyrbayev in an undated photo taken in New York. Credit:  vk.com/Reuters Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (R) poses with Azamat Tazhayakov (L) and Dias Kadyrbayev in an undated photo taken in New York. Credit: vk.com/Reuters

A friend of accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is expected to change his plea to guilty Thursday on obstruction of justice charges, federal officials announced today.

Dias Kadyrbayev, a Kazakh national, is accused of trying to protect Tsarnaev in he wake of the deadly April 15, 2013 bombing by removing a backpack and a laptop from Tsarnaev's dorm room at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and disposing of the items.

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A plea hearing is set for 2 p.m. Thursday in federal court in Boston.

Last month, a mutual friend of Tsarnaev and Kadyrbayev, Azamat Tazhayakov, was found guilty of obstruction charges after pleading not guilty. Unlike Kadyrbayev,Tazhayakov allegedly never touched the items.

Kadyrbayevfaces a maximum 20-year prison sentence on the obstruction of justice charge, and up to five years in prison on the conspiracy charge. Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 16.

Kadyrbayev's trial was due to begin on Sept. 8.

Follow Morgan Rousseau on Twitter: @MetroMorgan
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