ORLANDO, Fla. — The wife of a Chechen man who was fatally shot while being questioned in Florida about a Boston Marathon bombing suspect in 2013 has been charged with making a false statement to the FBI.
The indictment accuses Reniya Manukyan of falsely telling a federal investigator that an “individual with whom she had associated” returned on a bus from Massachusetts to Atlanta in 2011, two years before the bombing. In fact, she had driven the individual from New York to Atlanta, according to the federal indictment filed last week in Atlanta.
The day after she was questioned in Atlanta, her husband Ibraghim Todashev was killed by an FBI agent at his Orlando apartment. The FBI says Todashev became violent, though his family claims it was a wrongful death.
No one answered a phone number listed for Manukyan.
At the time of Todashev’s death, Todashev and Manukyan were separated. Todashev was living in Orlando and Manukyan was in Atlanta.
FBI agents were interviewing Todashev as they looked into the background of bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Todashev and Tsarnaev had been friends through mixed-martial arts circles when Todashev lived in Boston.
Todashev’s parents said last year that they plan to sue the FBI, but no lawsuit has been filed yet.
Thania Diaz Clevenger, civil rights director for the Council of American-Islamic Relations Florida, said in an email Monday that the matter is still pending. CAIR attorneys were representing Todashev’s parents.
Clevenger refused to comment about the charge against Manukyan.
Manukyan was questioned by the FBI in the weeks following the Boston bombing, specifically about who had the title on the car she shared with Todashev and whether she was worried she would be blamed for any actions by Todashev since they shared a car, according to a notice of claim against the FBI that CAIR official Hassan Shibly filed on behalf Todashev’s parents last year.
The notice says Manukyan was detained by the FBI in New York as she returned from a visit to Russia, and then interviewed again at her workplace in Atlanta.