Court hears appeal against 9/11 suspect acquittal

12th May 2005, Comments 0 comments

12 May 2005, KARLSRUHE - An appeal against the February 2004 acquittal of a man suspected to have been an accomplice in the 11 September 2001 terror attacks on the United States opened in Germany's supreme federal court in Karlsruhe on Thursday.

12 May 2005

KARLSRUHE - An appeal against the February 2004 acquittal of a man suspected to have been an accomplice in the 11 September 2001 terror attacks on the United States opened in Germany's supreme federal court in Karlsruhe on Thursday.

Prosecutors said the decision by the Hamburg superior court to acquit Moroccan national Abdel-Ghani Mzoudi had failed to take into account all the evidence available.

The hearings are the latest in a lengthy legal tug-of-war between Mzoudi and prosecutors, with his original trial in Hamburg having been characterised by arguments over permissible evidence.

Mzoudi was accused of being an accomplice in the murder of 3,000 people, as well as being a member of a terrorist group, for his connections with the Hamburg cell of conspirators led by Mohammed Atta who carried out the 11 September suicide plane attacks.

In its ruling to acquit Mzoudi, the Hamburg court said it could not be proven that he was a participant in the plans for the suicide attacks.

The court said the attacks were not planned in the early summer of 1999 in Hamburg, but rather at the end of that year at an al-Qaeda camp in Afghanistan.

But on Thursday, federal prosecutor Gerhard Altvater told the Karlsruhe court that the acquittal ruling showed a number of legal errors.

"The evaluation of evidence was not exhaustive, but rather showed considerable gaps," he argued.

In particular, he said the Hamburg court had not sufficiently considered such aspects as the "surprisingly quick readiness" of the Hamburg cell, while undergoing training in Afghanistan, to join in a plan of suicide attacks.

This would indicate that plans for the attacks had in fact had been formed earlier in Hamburg, when Mzoudi was present.

A ruling is expected on 31 May.

DPA

Subject: German news

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