9/11 trial witness back tracks

25th August 2004, Comments 0 comments

25 August 2004 , HAMBURG - Prosecution efforts to present alleged Hamburg terrorist conspirator Mounir al-Motassadeq as a fanatic suffered a fresh setback with a witness taking back an earlier statement suggesting the Moroccan had been committed to violence. The witness, a former university student who knew Motassadeq, recalled another alleged conspirator, Said Bahaji, making fanatical remarks before the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington. Three suicide pilots were former Hamburg student

25 August 2004

HAMBURG - Prosecution efforts to present alleged Hamburg terrorist conspirator Mounir al-Motassadeq as a fanatic suffered a fresh setback with a witness taking back an earlier statement suggesting the Moroccan had been committed to violence.

The witness, a former university student who knew Motassadeq, recalled another alleged conspirator, Said Bahaji, making fanatical remarks before the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington. Three suicide pilots were former Hamburg students.

Motassadeq had not joined in the remarks, but had not contradicted them either, the witness told the court in the German city of Hamburg. At Motassadeq's first trial, the witness had suggested Motassadeq was supportive of Bahaji, who is still wanted worldwide.

Other witnesses have drawn back in the past week from their earlier descriptions of Motassadeq as fanatical. Another fellow- student told the court Motassadeq was a sensitive person and not violent at all.

Motassadeq is free on bail after his conviction was overturned on legal grounds.

The prosecution is seeking to prove that he had foreknowledge of the attacks because he had been a close friend of three of the suicide pilots and of Bahaji and two other men who fled abroad before the attacks.

Motassadeq has remained silent at the current trial, but contended at his first trial that the fact he did not flee was proof he was unaware of the plot.

DPA

Subject: German news 

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