Cleared 9-11 suspect Mzoudireturns home to Morocco

21st June 2005, Comments 0 comments

21 June 2005, HAMBURG - Abdel-Ghani Mzoudi, 32, a student who was a friend of three of the September 11 suicide pilots, flew home to Morocco from Germany on Tuesday, 12 days after German courts finally cleared him of terror charges.

21 June 2005

HAMBURG - Abdel-Ghani Mzoudi, 32, a student who was a friend of three of the September 11 suicide pilots, flew home to Morocco from Germany on Tuesday, 12 days after German courts finally cleared him of terror charges.

His lawyer, Michael Rosenthal, said by telephone from Agadir, Morocco that officials spoke with Mzoudi after his arrival, but he was not put under any security escort. "He's fine," the lawyer said.

Rosenthal accompanied Mzoudi on the flight after the Islamist's legal team expressed concern their client might be detained without charge or handed to U.S. investigators. They have said Mzoudi fully expects to be questioned by Moroccan authorities.

His other lawyer, Gul Pinar, said in Hamburg, "We want to know what happens to him."

She said that Mzoudi wished to move to his parents' home in Marrakesh. The family had retained a Moroccan lawyer to represent him, she added.

German television news showed Mzoudi smiling as he checked in for the flight from Hanover Airport, 140 kilometres south of the port city of Hamburg where he had lived since the late 1990s.

After the German High Court rejected June 9 an appeal by prosecutors against his acquittal, German authorities gave him 14 days to leave the country or be forcibly deported.

A second Moroccan, Mounir al-Motassadeq, is still being re-tried on terrorism and accessory-to-murder charges in connection with the September 11, 2001 hijacked-airliner attacks on New York and Washington. Authorities say he too will be expelled if acquitted.

Both men were friends of Mohammed Atta, the leader of the September 11 attacks, and two other hijack pilots from Hamburg. But prosecutors were unable to prove Mzoudi had knowledge of the plot.

DPA

Subject: German news

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