Moroccan convicted in 9/11 plot appeals his sentence

10th January 2007, Comments 0 comments

10 January 2007Hamburg (dpa) - Lawyers for a Moroccan student jailed for 15 years for his role in the 9/11 attacks in the United States lodged an appeal against the sentence. Mounir al-Motassadeq, 32, was given the maximum sentence on Monday by a Hamburg court for membership of a terrorist cell and assisting in the murder of 246 people on the four hijacked planes that crashed in September 2001. Legal experts said there was little chance of the appeal succeeding. "Appeals against sentence are generally unsu

10 January 2007

Hamburg (dpa) - Lawyers for a Moroccan student jailed for 15 years for his role in the 9/11 attacks in the United States lodged an appeal against the sentence.

Mounir al-Motassadeq, 32, was given the maximum sentence on Monday by a Hamburg court for membership of a terrorist cell and assisting in the murder of 246 people on the four hijacked planes that crashed in September 2001.

Legal experts said there was little chance of the appeal succeeding.

"Appeals against sentence are generally unsuccessful," state attorney Walter Hemberger told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa. "There has to be a serious flaw" in the ruling, he said.

Motassadeq had been convicted in 2005 of being part of a terrorist cell and sentenced to 7 years, but federal appeal judges last year added a further conviction of and directed a re-sentencing.

The High Court in Hamburg passed the maximum sentence of 15 years after a two-day hearing that ended Monday.

It was the fifth time in court for Motassadeq, after two trials and two appeals relating to the September 11 attacks, which claimed around 3,000 lives.

The student was a close friend of three of the hijack pilots and a member of their prayer group before they moved to the United States to train as pilots. Though he denies it, judges at two trials were sure he knew in advance of the attacks on New York and Washington.

Increasing the sentence Monday, presiding judge Carsten Beckmann said the fact that Motassadeq took no physical part in the attacks was outweighed by the enormity of the murders.

The term of 15 years is the same as Motassadeq received at his first trial in 2003, and in line with a broad hint from the appeal judges last year.

Motassadeq was an electrical engineering student at a technical university in Hamburg.

DPA

                                             Subject: German news

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