Tags: Moussaoui: | Have | Plea'

Moussaoui: 'I Have No Plea'

Wednesday, 02 January 2002 12:00 AM

Zacharias Moussaoui, asked to enter a plea, said, "In the name of Allah, I do not have anything to plea." Federal Judge Leonie Brinkema then set Oct. 14 for Moussaoui's trial on six counts of conspiracy, including four capital charges.

After Moussaoui repeated, "I have no plea," Brinkema said she would consider it a plea of innocent. Moussaoui remained silent, wearing a dark-green jumpsuit with "prisoner" stenciled on the back. Moussaoui, who is short and stocky, has grown an unruly beard since his arrest.

The arraignment was the first public court appearance, and first public statement, for Moussaoui since his indictment by the federal government on Dec. 11 on conspiracy charges that range from plotting to murder government employees to conspiracy to damage private property.

According to the federal indictment, Moussaoui, who was arrested on immigration charges in August, made steps identical to the 19 men who crashed four commercial airliners on Sept. 11, including into the Pentagon and World Trade Center, killing approximately 3,000 people.

These alleged steps included financial wire transfers, flight school training and the purchase of knives. It also appeared that Moussaoui entered the country from Pakistan via London after another suspected al- Qaeda member was denied an entry visa.

Gerald Zerkin, one of Moussaoui's attorneys, said the proposed Oct. 14 trial date was unfair to the defense and proposed a date in February 2003.

"We cannot prepare the case for trial in time for the date suggested by the United States attorney," he said. "It is international in scope, including witnesses in France, Britain, Germany and Spain."

Another concern raised by the defense involves the timing of the trial in October, which the defense claims is too close to the one-year anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks to find an unbiased jury. But Brinkema said publicity made the problem much broader than merely worrying about the October date.

"The pretrial publicity is an issue that will have to be dealt with by the court no matter when we do it," she said.

An unidentified attorney for Moussaoui's mother attended the hearing on her behalf. He said that she remained "very upset" and was concerned about the treatment of her son, whom she has not met with yet because of government demands that the meeting be chaperoned and recorded by prosecutors.

Copyright 2002 by United Press International.

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Zacharias Moussaoui, asked to enter a plea, said, In the name of Allah, I do not have anything to plea. Federal Judge Leonie Brinkema then set Oct. 14 for Moussaoui's trial on six counts of conspiracy, including four capital charges. After Moussaoui repeated, I have no...
Moussaoui:,Have,Plea'
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2002-00-02
Wednesday, 02 January 2002 12:00 AM
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