Boston: As the quest to find a resting place for the body of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev drags on, his widow continues to face questions from federal authorities and has hired a criminal lawyer with experience defending terrorism cases.
Katherine Russell added New York lawyer Joshua Dratel to her legal team, her attorney Amato DeLuca said yesterday. Dratel has represented a number of terrorism suspects in federal courts and military commissions, including Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detainee David Hicks, who attended an al Qaeda-linked training camp in Afghanistan.
Dratel`s "unique, specialised experience" will help ensure that Russell "can assist in the ongoing investigation in the most constructive way possible”, DeLuca said in a written statement.
He said Russell, who has not been charged with any crime, will continue to meet with investigators as "part of a series of meetings over many hours where she has answered questions."
Providence-based DeLuca and Miriam Weizenbaum have been representing Russell, who is from Rhode Island. They specialise in civil cases such as personal injury law.
An FBI spokeswoman wouldn`t comment when asked yesterday whether Russell is cooperating. DeLuca has said Russell had no reason to suspect her husband and his brother in the deadly April 15 bombing.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, ethnic Chechen brothers from southern Russia living in Massachusetts, are accused of planting two shrapnel-packed pressure-cooker bombs near the marathon finish line, killing three people and injuring about 260.
Dzhokhar, who was captured hiding in a tarp-covered boat outside a house in a Boston suburb, was charged with using a weapon of mass destruction to kill. Their mother has said the charges against them are lies.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in a getaway attempt after a gun battle with police, and no burial place has been found for him yet. His body was released by the state medical examiner May 1 and has been in limbo since.
In Washington, the first in a series of hearings was planned today to review government`s initial response to the bombing, what information authorities received about the brothers before the bombings and whether they handled it correctly. The hearing on Capitol Hill comes less than three weeks after Dzhokhar Tsarnaev`s arrest.
The FBI and CIA separately received vague warnings from Russia`s government in 2011 that Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his mother were religious militants.