Prosecutor wants US to release 9/11 evidence
30 July 2004, HAMBURG - Germany's top federal prosecutor issued an appeal Friday for the US State Department to release suspect evidence that he feels could help convict two of the suspected September 11 terrorists.
30 July 2004
HAMBURG - Germany's top federal prosecutor issued an appeal Friday for the US State Department to release suspect evidence that he feels could help convict two of the suspected September 11 terrorists.
Chief Federal Prosecutor Kay Nehm, in a statement issued Friday, said he had travelled to the United States in April seeking release of interrogation records of detained terror suspect Ramzi Binalshibh.
"I met with a great deal of understanding," Nehm said. "But they gave me to understand that there were restrictions which went way beyond the authority of the people I was talking to."
He added that a 17-page document with questions German officials want put to Binalshibh had been sent to the United States this month.
Nehm said that, even without the State Department records, he was confident of winning a conviction in the upcoming retrial of Mounir El Motassadeq.
Motassadeq was convicted in early 2003 by the Hamburg State Court for having aided the September 11 attacks and was sentenced to 15 years in prison. He is so far the only terror suspect to have been convicted in connection with the terror attacks.
But last March, Germany's Federal Supreme Court in Karlsruhe quashed the conviction on a technicality, saying essential evidence had been withheld by the State Department. A new trial was ordered.
Meanwhile, the same Hamburg court that had convicted Motassadeq acquitted a friend and co-suspect of his last February, Abdel-Ghani Mzoudi, who had been tried on identical charges. The court cited the Supreme Court ruling in handing down the acquittal.
Mzoudi's acquittal is now being appealed by the Federal Prosecutor's Office.
Both men were student friends of the suicide pilots in Hamburg, and evidence presented in court showed that they had been at al-Qaeda camps in Afghanistan, but their lawyers argued that this did not prove that they knew about the September 11 plot.
Subject: German news