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Girlfriend to testify at trial of friend of accused Boston bomber

BOSTON (Reuters) - The girlfriend of a Kazakh exchange student who has been charged with obstructing the investigation into the Boston Marathon bombing is expected to take the stand during his trial, according to court records.

A filing by prosecutors in U.S. District Court in Boston said that Bayan Kumiskali, the girlfriend of Dais Kadyrbayev, could testify at his upcoming trial.

Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov, both of Kazakhstan, and a third man, Robel Phillipos of Cambridge, Massachusetts, have been charged with going to accused bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's dorm room at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth three days after the April 15, 2013, bombing and removing a laptop and backpack containing empty fireworks shells.

Kumiskali was present when federal agents raided a New Bedford, Massachusetts, apartment shared by Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov, two friends of the bombing suspect.

The two Kazakhs and Phillipos will each be tried separately, with Tazhayakov's trial set to begin first, late this month.

Kumiskali has been granted immunity by prosecutors in exchange for her testimony. A document filed late Monday containing proposed instructions for U.S. District Judge Douglas Woodlock to read to the jury at the end of the trial, included the warning that Kumiskali "may have had reason to make up stories or exaggerate what others did."

Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov had asked the judge to throw out early statements they made to the FBI after they were ordered out of their apartment at gunpoint and taken in handcuffs to a police station for questioning but not arrested, saying their statements had not been voluntary.

Kadyrbayev testified during a pretrial hearing last week that he suspected Tsarnaev, now 20, had taken part in the attack that killed three people and injured 264.

Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov are charged with obstruction of justice and could face up to 25 years in prison if convicted. Phillipos faces up to 16 years if convicted of lying to investigators.

Tsarnaev could be executed if convicted of carrying out the largest mass-casualty attack on U.S. soil since Sept. 11, 2001. His trial is due to start in November.

(Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Eric Beech)

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