Court to decide on jailed9/11 plotter’s release
23 March 2004
HAMBURG – The Hamburg state superior court is to make a ruling on 2 April on whether to release convicted 11 September plotter Mounir al-Motassadeq pending a re-trial, Motassadeq’s defence attorney said Tuesday.
The attorney, Josef Graessle-Muenscher, confirmed the date for oral hearings in the petition seeking the release on bail of his client after the German Supreme Court ruling to order a new trial.
Motassadeq was found guilty by the Hamburg court in February 2003 of being an accessory to the murder of nearly 3,000 people by assisting in the 11 September 2001 suicide attacks in the United States. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
But on 4 March the Federal Supreme Court in Karlsruhe quashed the conviction on a technicality, saying essential evidence, had not been properly addressed.
The Karlsruhe judges said evidence from a witness that might have helped the defence had not been heard.
He was referring to Ramzi bin al-Shibh, a Yemeni who has reportedly confessed to a central role in the plot.
Al-Shibh has been in US custody since his capture in Karachi, Pakistan in September 2002, but the US refused to release interrogation transcripts for the Hamburg trial.
Motassadeq, a Moroccan, has been in custody since late 2001. He became the first person ever to go on trial in connection with the 11 September attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
In February, a second Moroccan, Abdel-Ghani Mzoudi, was acquitted on identical charges and evidence in the Hamburg court. Both men were student friends of the suicide pilots, but their lawyers argue that does not prove they knew about the plot.
Subject: German news