Mzoudi’s 9/11 trial resumes

18th December 2003, Comments 0 comments

18 December 2003, HAMBURG - Moroccan suspect Abdel-Ghani Mzoudi returned to the Hamburg court for the first time Thursday since the court ordered his release from custody a week earlier, as his trial resumed on charges he was an accomplice to the 11 September terror attacks. The prosecution immediately presented two petitions, one demanding that Mzoudi be put back in custody and the other seeking as a witness to the case suspected Al Qaeda figure Ramzi bin al-Shibh. The court had previously sought, but fai

18 December 2003

HAMBURG - Moroccan suspect Abdel-Ghani Mzoudi returned to the Hamburg court for the first time Thursday since the court ordered his release from custody a week earlier, as his trial resumed on charges he was an accomplice to the 11 September terror attacks.

The prosecution immediately presented two petitions, one demanding that Mzoudi be put back in custody and the other seeking as a witness to the case suspected Al Qaeda figure Ramzi bin al-Shibh.

The court had previously sought, but failed, to gain al-Shibh as a witness to the case. Al-Shibh is in US custody.

Last week, in a decision blasted by prosecutors and legal officials on both sides of the Atlantic, the court released Mzoudi from trial custody on the basis of controversial evidence from a police report about who was really involved in the September 11 plot.

The report cited an unnamed witness, believed to be bin al-Shibh, as claiming that Mzoudi had not been privy to the scheme.

Mzoudi is charged on some 3,000 counts of murder as an accessory to the 11 September plane attacks and with belonging to a terrorist organisation.

Prosecutors claim the 11 September plot was dreamed up in Hamburg, ultimately involving eight students, and that al-Qaeda was approached for logistics and financial help. Three students were killed in the attacks, three were caught and two are at large.

But federal security authorities have indicated they place more trust in bin al-Shibh and another Qaeda figure, who said the plot was devised in the mountains of Afghanistan and students visiting from Hamburg were recruited to train as suicide pilots.

Early in the week, Hamburg state court judges ruled that convicted 11 September conspirator Mounir al-Motassadeq must stay in jail despite a pending appeal, rejecting a plea for his release in the wake of Mzoudi's release from trial custody.

Motassadeq was sentenced in February to a 15-year prison term after the Hamburg court found him guilty of being a member of a terrorist organization consisting of Arab students in Hamburg and assisting in more than 3,000 murders.

 

 DPA
Subject: German news

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