Defense: Marathon suspect’s remark humorous

BOSTON — Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev say a remark he made to his sister during a prison visit was meant to be funny and wasn’t incriminating, as prosecutors have suggested.

In court documents filed Wednesday, Tsarnaev’s lawyers responded to a claim by prosecutors that Tsarnaev made a remark “to his detriment” while his sister was visiting him. The remark was overheard by an FBI agent who was in the room monitoring the visit because of special prison restrictions placed on Tsarnaev.

Neither side has revealed what Tsarnaev said, but are arguing over whether to lift the monitoring restrictions that his lawyers say limit his interactions with people helping his defense team.

His lawyers say the comment was “jocular” or “gently mocking” the purported security concerns that prompted the prison restrictions, known as “special administrative measures.” They say he has not made any statements related to the charges against him during visits with his sisters.

Tsarnaev faces the possibility of the death penalty in the deadly bombing last April. Prosecutors allege that Tsarnaev, 20, and his brother, Tamerlan, 26, built two pressure-cooker bombs and placed them near the finish line of the marathon. The twin explosions killed three people and injured more than 260.

Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty to 30 federal charges. Tamerlan Tsarnaev died following a shootout with police several days after the marathon.

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