Motassadeq 'belonged to 9/11 helper network'

9th August 2005, Comments 0 comments

9 August 2005, HAMBURG - Moroccan student Mounir al-Motassadeq, 31, was part of a network that knowingly helped the September 11, 2001 terrorists by covering up their absences from Hamburg, a prosecutor told a German court Tuesday.

9 August 2005

HAMBURG - Moroccan student Mounir al-Motassadeq, 31, was part of a network that knowingly helped the September 11, 2001 terrorists by covering up their absences from Hamburg, a prosecutor told a German court Tuesday.

Prosecutor Matthias Krauss asked the court to reinstate the maximum 15-year jail sentence imposed by a trial in 2003.

"A group existed right up to September 2001 in Hamburg that prepared the attacks in cooperation with the hijack pilots in the United States," said prosecutor Matthias Krauss in closing arguments. Motassadeq had been involved up to the last moment.

A verdict is expected August 19 at the Motassadeq re-trial, which follows his successful appeal against his original conviction and 15-year sentence for being part of the Hamburg terror cell and aiding 3,000 murders.

Three of the hijack pilots who crashed four planes in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania had been students in the German city.

While Motassadeq has exercised his right to silence at the current trial, Krauss quoted his contention at the first trial that it was normal for young Arabs to operate one another's bank accounts and pay one another's rent.

"If you believed that, then every witness here was lying," said Krauss. Motassadeq had been part of a "system of delegation" intended to distract attention from the attack planning.

DPA

Subject: German news

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