Tags: Moussaoui | Wants | Trial

Moussaoui Wants TV Trial

Friday, 04 January 2002 12:00 AM

The petition for total access to proceedings was filed by cable network CourtTV.

CourtTV on Friday asked federal Judge Leonie Brinkema to allow its cameras to televise the preliminary legal proceedings and trial of Moussaoui, who faces six federal counts of conspiracy to assist the 19 hijackers who seized four planes on Sept. 11 and crashed three of them into the World Trade Center and Pentagon, resulting in the deaths of about 3,000 people. One plane crashed in Pennsylvania when those on board resisted the hijackers.

The U.S. Attorney's Office was expected to request the death penalty by March 29 for four of the charges in the trial, which was scheduled to begin Oct. 14.

Moussaoui's defense team, led by federal public defender Frank Dunham Jr., filed a petition with the court Friday in support of the petition to televise the trial itself.

"Mr. Moussaoui recognizes that the American criminal justice system will be on display for the entire world as the trial of this action proceeds," the defense motion said.

Moussaoui, a French national born in Morocco, expects the extra attention given the trial could help him receive fairer consideration by the legal system, a legal source familiar with the case said.

The possibility of a public trial for the man the government considers a key accomplice to the Sept. 11 attacks, if not the 20th hijacker himself, was a key reason the Bush administration might pursue non-public military tribunals for suspects apprehended overseas on suspicion of working with al-Qaeda, a terrorist organization headed by Saudi dissident Osama bin Laden, believed guilty of the attacks.

The publicity, administration officials have said repeatedly, could offer a venue to broadcast the rhetoric used by Islamic militants or could put U.S. intelligence gathering and techniques at risk.

U.S. Attorney Robert Spencer, the lead government attorney in the case, could not be reached for comment.

Moussaoui was arrested on immigration charges after a Minnesota flight school became suspicious of his behavior. Although he was in FBI custody at the time of the Sept. 11 attacks, federal prosecutors laid out his involvement with the other hijackers in a 31-page indictment released in December.

Although Moussaoui did not appear to have contact with any of the other 19 terrorists, the government says his actions and contacts seem to mirror that of the other men. All 19 were killed in the four plane crashes.

Copyright 2002 by United Press International.

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The petition for total access to proceedings was filed by cable network CourtTV. CourtTV on Friday asked federal Judge Leonie Brinkema to allow its cameras to televise the preliminary legal proceedings and trial of Moussaoui, who faces six federal counts of conspiracy to...
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2002-00-04
Friday, 04 January 2002 12:00 AM
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