Factfile: Zacarias Moussaoui

The jury selection process began on Monday for the sentencing trial of 9/11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui. Following are some facts about him and the case:

    Moussaoui is the only person to stand trial in the US in 9/11 case
    • Moussaoui, 37, a French citizen of Moroccan descent, was arrested by US officials in August 2001 on immigration charges after raising suspicions at a flight school in Minnesota. Later, he was indicted in connection with the September 11 attacks, the only person charged in connection with those attacks. 

    • On 22 April, 2005, Moussaoui pleaded guilty to all six counts against him. He was charged with conspiracy to commit acts of terrorism, commit aircraft piracy, destroy aircraft, use weapons of mass destruction, murder US employees and destroy property. Three of the charges carry the death penalty. 

    • Although he said he was not meant to be part of the 9/11 attacks, Moussaoui said Osama bin-Ladin had picked him to fly a plane into the White House as part of a broader conspiracy. 

    • Moussaoui's trial has been delayed repeatedly since 2002 for appeals over his access to al-Qaida detainees who he said could help bolster his case. He acted as his own lawyer early in the case but US Judge Leonie Brinkema revoked that permission in 2003 after Moussaoui kept filing pleadings with the court that included inflammatory language about US officials, his lawyers and Brinkema.

    • In the sentencing trial, a jury will decide whether Moussaoui will receive the death penalty or life in prison. Final jury selection and opening statements are scheduled for 6 March.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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