Court rules against 9/11 suspect

A US court has declined to consider crucial witness access and death penalty issues raised by al-Qaida member Zacarias Moussaoui, making it more likely that the case can proceed to trial.

    Moussaoui was in custody prior to the September 11 attacks

    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.

    SOURCE: Unspecified


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    Prince Philip has done the world an extraordinary service by exposing the racist hypocrisy of "Western civilisation".

    China will determine the future of Venezuela

    China will determine the future of Venezuela

    There are a number of reasons why Beijing continues to back Maduro's government despite suffering financial losses.