U.S. likely to clear agents in marathon-related shooting - official

by Reuters
Friday, 21 March 2014 17:02 GMT

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WASHINGTON, March 21 (Reuters) - Federal prosecutors are very likely to clear government agents of wrongdoing in the Florida shooting of a man while he was being questioned about the Boston Marathon bombings, a law enforcement official said on Friday.

Chechen immigrant Ibragim Todashev, 27, was shot during interrogation in May 2013. He was an acquaintance of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, one of two Chechen brothers who prosecutors say carried out the Boston bombings that killed three people and injured more than 260.

U.S. prosecutors could announce their decision not to bring charges as soon as Tuesday, the same day a Florida prosecutor is expected to announce his decision in the matter, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Todashev was shot and killed during what he thought was to be the last of several voluntary interviews with agents from the FBI and other law enforcement agencies in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings.

The FBI has said he was killed after he suddenly attacked an agent during the interrogation at his Orlando apartment.

The bureau sent its findings to the Justice Department, which has the final say in federal prosecutions.

The FBI account has been openly questioned by Todashev's father, who has said his son was unarmed when he was shot. A Muslim civil liberties group in Florida, the Tampa-based branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, has called for a detailed review of the shooting.

The office of Florida State Attorney Jeff Ashton has also been investigating the incident. (Reporting by David Ingram and Julia Edwards; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Chris Reese)

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