Saturday, February 11, 2006

Moussaoui Defense Reveals Details of Pre-9/11 Knowledge

McLEAN, Va. Lawyers for Zacarias Moussaoui (zak-uh-REE'-uhs moo-SOW'-ee) say that U-S government agents knew Moussaoui was an agent of Osama bin Laden but still failed to aggressively investigate their client.

Those remarks came during a closed hearing last month in which Moussaoui's lawyers disclosed several details that go beyond and sometimes contradict what was disclosed in the September 11th commission report.The government's knowledge of Moussaoui and his terrorist connections will be a key issue at his March 6th death-penalty trial in federal court in Alexandria.Moussaoui pleaded guilty in April to conspiring with al-Qaida to fly aircraft into U-S targets. But Moussaoui claims he had nothing to do with Nine-Eleven and instead was training for part of an aborted second wave of attacks.To obtain the death penalty, prosecutors must prove that Moussaoui was directly involved in the attacks.Transcripts of the January 5th pretrial hearing were released late yesterday.Prosecutors did NOT respond to the defense statements during the hearing.

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