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Retrial of Moroccan suspect in 9/11 attacks begins in Germany
www.chinaview.cn 2004-08-10 18:20:26

    BERLIN, Aug. 10 (Xinhuanet) -- The retrial of a Moroccan suspect behind the Sept. 11 attacks began in a German court on Tuesday.

    Mounir el Motassadeq, a Moroccan student in Hamburg, entered the Hamburg State Court without answering questions raised by reporters, witnesses said.

    On Monday, Motassadeq's lawyer Josef Graessle-Muenscher issued a statement, saying "we intend to file a request for all charges to be dismissed on the basis of lack of evidence."

    Graessle-Muenscher said his client will also withhold all testimony in the retrial proceedings.

    However, Chief Federal Prosecutor Kay Nehm said he is confidentof winning the retrial, although he failed to persuade the US State Department to hand over related key evidence.

    Motassadeq, 30, was studying in Hamburg where he became a friend of Mohammed Atta, who was also a foreign student in Germanyand later flew one of the two hijacked planes into New York's World Trade Center in 2001.

    Early last year, the Hamburg State Court sentenced Motassadeq to 15 years in prison on charges of providing logistic help to al-Qaida cell in Hamburg.

    But the Federal Constitutional Court, Germany's supreme court, turned down the sentence in March, ruling that Motassadeq should be retried because prosecutors failed to provide key evidence. Enditem

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