Skip to comments.MOUSSAOUI FACES BATTLE TO AVOID DEATH PENALTY (Hell Awaits -- France Will Surely Protest)
Posted on 04/23/2005 9:32:48 AM PDT by Cornpone
WASHINGTON, April 22 (AFP) - Zacarias Moussaoui's admission that he took part in Al-Qaeda's September 11 conspiracy during an angry court appearance has left him facing a desperate battle to avoid the death penalty.
The 36-year-old Frenchman has said he was chosen by Osama bin Laden to fly a jet into the White House.
US media emphasised how Moussaoui shouted "God curse America" as he left Friday's hearing in Alexandria, Virginia and US authorities announced straight away that they would press for his execution.
Lawyers have warned, however, that a long court process remains -- during which Moussaoui could renew calls to be allowed to question Al-Qaeda leaders kept in secret detention by the United States -- before a jury starts to decide on the penalty.
Moussaoui pleaded guilty to six conspiracy charges linked to the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington that killed nearly 3,000 people. He is the first person to face charges over the attacks.
But he has also insisted that he was not to be one of the September 11 hijackers and that he was to take part in a later attack on the White House.
Moussaoui, who said he uses the moniker Abu Khalid al Sahrawi as his nom de guerre, signed a statement of fact during the hearing in which he said the Al-Qaeda leader chose him for the second wave of attacks.
"Bin Laden personally selected Moussaoui to participate in the operation to fly planes into American buildings and approved Moussaoui attacking the White House," according to the document.
"Bin Laden told Moussaoui: 'Sahrawi, remember your dream.'" Despite his guilty pleas, Moussaoui, balding, bearded and wearing a green prison jumpsuit, stressed he was not seeking his execution.
"I don't expect any leniency from the Americans," he said, but he added: "I will not apply for death, and in fact, I will fight every inch against the death penalty."
US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said, however, that prosecutors would seek execution for the avowed Al-Qaeda member.
"The fact that Moussaoui participated in this terrorist conspiracy is no longer in doubt," Gonzales said. "Moussaoui and his co-conspirators were responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocents on September 11."
Moussaoui admitted conspiracy to commit terrorism, to commit aircraft piracy, to destroy aircraft and to use weapons of mass destruction -- charges which carry the death penalty. He also pleaded guilt to conspiracy to murder and to destroy property.
He is the first Al-Qaeda conspirator to appear in a US civilian court over September 11. All of the others remain in US military custody.
And there are still many contradictions in his case, during which he has regularly railed against his defence team.
On Friday, Moussaoui called his lead lawyer Frank Dunham a "Judas" for talking to the US media about his case.
Lawyers had expressed doubts that Moussaoui was mentally competent to make a guilty plea. He withdrew a guilty plea made in 2002.
But US District Judge Leonie Brinkema said Moussaoui was capable. She complimented the defendant, saying he was an "extremely intelligent man.
"He better understands the legal system than some lawyers that I have seen in this court," she said.
Moussaoui's statement that he was not part of the September 11 plot was consistent with earlier claims that although he is an Al-Qaeda member, he was to participate in other plots.
The official US commission which looked into the September 11 attacks said captured Al-Qaeda leader Khalid Sheikh Mohammed told interrogators that Moussaoui was to be used in a loosely planned "second wave" of attacks.
Nineteen men hijacked the four jets and crashed them into the twin World Trade Center towers in New York, the Defence Department headquarters near Washington and a field in Pennsylvania.
Despite his insistence that he was not part of the September 11 operation, Moussaoui signed the statement of facts as "the 20th hijacker".
A dozen relatives of September 11 victims attended the hearing. Some later said they wanted Moussaoui to be sentenced to death.
"I'm just happy that we didn't have to go through a long trial," said Debra Burlingame, whose brother, Charles Burlingame, 51, was the captain of American Airlines Flight 77, which crashed into the Pentagon.
"I view him (Moussaoui) and all of his confederates ... as lost souls, utterly lost souls," she said.
Ping...Yippee!!! Another one bites the dust...
I doubt that was a compliment and if it was is this woman must be a liberal!
Didn't they give Mumia the keys to the city of Paris? I would expect no less for Moussaoui!
She might be giving him enough rope to hang him with by flattering him.
From the sound of it, he doesn't seem quite so eager to collect his "reward", now does he?
So NOW he's not willing to die for his "cause"?
Not a very dedicated suicide-murderer, are we?
S'matter?, afraid to die if you can't take out some innocents in the process.
Chicken Sh!t Terrorist!!!
She's a flaming liberal...I know.
Don't hold your breath. He'll probably get a $10,000 fine and 90 days in jail.
The U.S. could fund a big chunk of the War on Terror through an eBay auction for the right to beat this POS to death with a Louisville Slugger...
In a previous ruling, she did everything she could to cast stones at the United States while defending him in open court. It was a disgrace.
"Come with me infidel judge, and I will make you my Burqa woman."
May I be the first to say fry baby fry. Wait didn't McVeigh get a needle? Which would he get if he gets the death penalty?
But first he must be punished according to the Sharia in the fashion Muhammed prescribed for the Jews...cut off his hands and feet, gouge out his eyes and leave him with no water in the sun...this is the way of Islam...then beat him to death with Louisville Slugger....
...with nothing but beans and cheap wienies 3 times a day...
if he doesn't like the processed pork by-products, he can then go to meet Allah in a "dignified", "beautiful", and "euphoric" way.
"The righteous will be served also by boys, "pure as pearls," dressed in green garments of fine silk and heavy brocade, adorned with bracelets of silver and used to drinking wine."
The Holy (Joke) Quran, 76:21
Do you realize one of the main theological debates among Muslim holy (joke) scholars is how long an erection lasts in paradise? This is no religion...its a gangster cult.
Yes, but the libs still believe the death penalty isn't a deterrent.
But no, we had to give him over to the liberal federal courts, where the media could turn him into a rock star, and let the commies of the world promote him as the latest victim of US "imperialism."
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