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Moussaoui misses US high court appeal deadline

Published on August 19, 2010

Zacarias Moussaoui, a French national sentenced to life in prison in 2006 for his involvement in the September 11, 2001 attacks, missed the deadline to file an appeal of his case to the US Supreme Court, documents show.

Barring a procedural surprise, his failure to file makes his conviction final.

A US appeals court authorized the seven attorneys of the lone person convicted in the September 11 attacks to withdraw from the case, according to a copy of the decision obtained Wednesday by AFP.

In a letter to the court in early August, the attorneys said Moussaoui had until July 30 to appeal to the Supreme Court, and that the deadline had passed.

Moussaoui’s conviction was upheld on appeal January 4.

“After being advised in writing of his right to seek review in the Supreme Court, Mr Moussaoui did not authorize Counsel to file a petition for a writ of certiorari in this case,” the lawyers explained.

“In this context, counsels, respectfully move to withdraw as counsel of the appellant. Counsel also request that the Court inform Mr. Moussaoui directly in writing should this motion be granted,” they added.

Moussaoui was sentenced to life without possibility of parole, and is in solitary confinement at a top-security facility in Colorado.

Arrested several weeks before the Al-Qaeda attacks in New York and Washington, Moussaoui was considered a potential 20th hijacker in the September 11 attacks with commandeered airliners that killed nearly 3,000 people in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania.