January 15, 2007

Sept. 11 Convict: German High Court Refuses to Hear Motassadeq Appeal

Via Der Spiegel: Germany's highest court on Friday declined to hear the appeal of Mounir el Motassadeq, who was convicted in November of being an accessory to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States. Motassadeq, who was just sentenced by a German court on Monday to 15 years in prison, had appealed his conviction on the grounds that evidence from other terrorism suspects were not properly presented and considered at his trial. He was convicted for being an accessory to the murder of the 246 passengers and crew on the four jets used in the attacks. Motassadeq, originally from Morocco, lived and studied in Hamburg and was friends there with suicide pilots Mohamed Atta, Marwan al-Shehhi and Ziad Jarrah. Though he has admitted to having trained at an al-Qaida camp in Afghanistan, he says he knew nothing of his friends plans to attack the United States. The courts maintain, however, that Motassadeq knew of the plans and even wired money to the hijackers when they were in the US preparing the attacks. Motassadeq became the first terror suspect convicted in connection with the Sept. 11 attacks in early 2003. The verdict of that trial was thrown out however -- leading to the second trial which ended with a second conviction in November, 2006.