Hamburg defendant 'consorted'with 9/11 plotters

29th September 2004, Comments 0 comments

29 September 2004 , HAMBURG - A court in Germany heard Wednesday how suspected terrorist Mounir El Motassadeq "consorted" with members of the Hamburg al Qaeda cell that carried out the 11 September attacks. The testimony by two prosecution witnesses occurred during retrial proceedings before Hamburg Superior Stat Court and came a day after another witness said Motassadeq had been "well-versed" in the details of the 9/11 plot. Motassadeq has contended he knew nothing of the plans to use passenger airliners

29 September 2004

HAMBURG - A court in Germany heard Wednesday how suspected terrorist Mounir El Motassadeq "consorted" with members of the Hamburg al Qaeda cell that carried out the 11 September attacks.

The testimony by two prosecution witnesses occurred during retrial proceedings before Hamburg Superior Stat Court and came a day after another witness said Motassadeq had been "well-versed" in the details of the 9/11 plot. Motassadeq has contended he knew nothing of the plans to use passenger airliners as flying bombs.

In Wednesday's testimony, a former flatmate of acquitted terrorist suspect Abdelghani Mzoudi told the court how Motassadeq "consorted" with Hamburg cell members.

Specifically, Motassadeq was often seen in the company of Mohammed Atta, the Hamburg cell leader and one of the 9/11 hijackers. The two men would frequently show up together at Mzoudi's flat.

That testimony was corroborated by another witness, who said Motassadeq and Atta very often visited Arab neighbours.

Earlier, a former fellow prisoner of Motassadeq's told the court that the Moroccan student had acted as if he had known of the 11 September attacks in advance.

"He never told me so in words, but that was my impression," said the witness, a 32-year-old Turkish national.

The prisoner, who was in jail with Motassadeq for five months in 2002, said Motassadeq's cell door had been open.

The accused invited him in to watch a TV documentary on the first anniversary of the attacks on New York and Washington. German jails allow prisoners to have their own TVs in the cells.

While watching the programme about the destruction of the World Trade Center, Motassadeq admitted he had known the suicide pilots.

Asked if he knew Atta, the main pilot, Motassadeq nodded, but then gestured to suggest the cell might be bugged, and was silent to other questions. The witness said he had given a nervous impression but looked as if he was proud of the attacks.

The witness said Motassadeq had spoken of Americans as the "enemy" and had made disparaging remarks about Jews.

Motassadeq is currently free on bail and attends the trial each day.

Unlike many of the other witnesses called in recent weeks, the former prisoner did not testify at Motassadeq's first trial. Police first interviewed him in January after his brother had spoken of the alleged conversation to detectives.

Under German law, Motassadeq can only be convicted as a conspirator if it can be proven he knew in advance of the plot. He is accused of membership in the Hamburg terrorist cell and of being an accessory to some 3,000 murders.

DPA

Subject: German news
 

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