Germany's 9/11 prisoner's appeal fails

12th January 2007, Comments 0 comments

12 January 2007, Karlsruhe, Germany (dpa) - Mounir al-Motassadeq, 32, the Moroccan who was sentenced this week to 15 years in jail by a German court for plotting the 9/11 attacks, failed Friday in an appeal to Germany's constitutional court. Judges of the court, which only considers constitutional issues and does not hear criminal appeals, rejected a claim by Motassadeq that his conviction at trial in 2005 and the decision in 2006 by an appeal court to add another conviction were a miscarriage of justice.

12 January 2007

Karlsruhe, Germany (dpa) - Mounir al-Motassadeq, 32, the Moroccan who was sentenced this week to 15 years in jail by a German court for plotting the 9/11 attacks, failed Friday in an appeal to Germany's constitutional court.

Judges of the court, which only considers constitutional issues and does not hear criminal appeals, rejected a claim by Motassadeq that his conviction at trial in 2005 and the decision in 2006 by an appeal court to add another conviction were a miscarriage of justice.

They said in the southern justice capital of Karlsruhe that they would not hear his case because his claims did not qualify for constitutional review, nor were any constitutional issues raised by his treatment in the courts.

The appeal had been filed last year. Judges said their ruling also scotched an urgent demand by Motassadeq's lawyer this week to intervene and halt a Hamburg hearing on Monday which increased the married student's jail term from 7 to 15 years.

At trial, Motassadeq, who had trained at an al-Qaeda camp in Afghanistan, was found to have known in advance of the September 11, 2001 attacks through his friendship with three of the hijack pilots. The group had been university students in Hamburg.

The lawyer, Udo Jacob, said Friday in Hamburg that no avenues of formal appeal against conviction were left in Germany, but he would ask European courts to review the case while also applying for German courts to reopen the case to hear additional evidence.

Jacob said the defence team would probably not pursue an appeal in Germany against Monday's sentence, since the lawyers' objective was to obtain an acquittal, not a shorter term in jail.

The Islamist was convicted in Hamburg in 2005 of terrorism and sentenced to seven years in jail. A further conviction on 246 counts of accessory to murder was added on appeal last year by the German High Court.

Motassadeq was the first person convicted for a role in the attacks on New York and Washington. Only one other 9/11 accessory, Zacarias Moussaoui, also of Moroccan descent, has been tried: He received life imprisonment on May 4 last year from a US court.

DPA

Subject: German news

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