Motassadeq 'will be expelled' if he wins appeal

8th February 2006, Comments 0 comments

8 February 2006, HAMBURG - Mounir al-Motassadeq, the only person ever convicted of a role in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, is to be expelled from Germany if he wins an appeal, disappointed German officials said Wednesday after judges granted him bail.

8 February 2006

HAMBURG - Mounir al-Motassadeq, the only person ever convicted of a role in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, is to be expelled from Germany if he wins an appeal, disappointed German officials said Wednesday after judges granted him bail.

But the road to a verdict remains long. Motassadeq's lawyer said Wednesday he had still not filed reasons for an appeal. Motassadeq could expect six to eight months of freedom before a verdict from Germany's High Court, lawyer Gerhard Strate said.

Motassadeq is an Islamic fundamentalist who was a close friend of three Hamburg-based Arab students who trained as pilots and took part in the suicide attacks four years ago on Washington and New York.

He was convicted, won an appeal and was sentenced at retrial to seven years' jail by judges who said he surely knew his friends' plans.

On Tuesday, Germany's constitutional court said he was entitled to bail while he waits out his current appeal.

Udo Nagel, interior minister of the state of Hamburg, said: "If he is not convicted, he'll be expelled. Motassadeq is an Islamist and a danger to democracy. Anyone indulging in such activities has no business in Hamburg or in Germany.

"Personally I don't like it one bit that he is running around free. But we live in a democracy under the rule of law, and everyone here enjoys equal rights, even those suspected of terrorism."

The German Police Union slammed the bail grant, saying it was a dangerous sign. Union chairman Konrad Freiberg said the judicial process had failed with regard to the September 11 attacks and had offered no deterrent.

However lawyer Strate hailed the bail grant as "upholding the law."

The Moroccan, 31, has lived in Germany since the 1990s studying electrical engineering. He told judges he did military training during that period at a camp in Afghanistan.

DPA

Subject: German news

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