The full 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday said none of the judges had requested a rehearing of the issues already decided by a three-judge panel.

  

Unless there are further appeals, US District Judge Leonie Brinkema in Alexandria, Virginia, can now resolve the dispute over Moussaoui's access to three al-Qaida prisoners and set a trial date.

  

Moussaoui's lawyers have been arguing - unsuccessfully - for direct access to the high-ranking captives, who have told interrogators that Moussaoui had no role in the September 11 attacks.

 

Death penalty
  

The court-appointed defence team has also been trying - again without success - to have the appellate court bar the government from seeking the death penalty if Moussaoui, a French citizen, is convicted.

 

Musawi is charged with taking
part in the 9/11 conspiracy

An acknowledged member of al-Qaida, he has said in court papers he was to be part of a later operation.

  

In its previous ruling, the appellate panel ordered the trial judge to work with lawyers to give Moussaoui access to the witnesses' statements - and to permit defence lawyers to submit additional questions.

 

The panel also allowed the government to seek the death penalty.

  

Moussaoui, who was arrested a month prior to the attacks when he aroused suspicions at a flight school, was indicted in December 2001.