News and Document archive source
copyrighted material disclaimer at bottom of page

NewsMine9-11suspects — Viewing Item

Court releases moroccan 911 suspect { December 11 2003 }

Original Source Link: (May no longer be active)§ion=news§ion=news

Court releases Moroccan 9/11 suspect
Thu 11 December, 2003 12:59

By Christian Eggers

HAMBURG, Germany (Reuters) - A German court has unexpectedly ordered the release of a Moroccan man on trial for abetting the September 11 plotters after the judge says that new evidence clearly exonerated the suspect.

Judge Klaus Ruehle granted on Thursday a defence motion for the release of Abdelghani Mzoudi after German investigators informed the court of new testimony that the Moroccan did not belong to the Hamburg al Qaeda cell instrumental in the September 11 plot.

The shock move threw into doubt the conviction of another Moroccan, Mounir El Motassadeq, who was sentenced last February to 15 years in a German jail after becoming the first person convicted anywhere in the world in connection with the attacks.

His lawyer said he would seek the immediate release of Motassadeq, convicted on similar charges to those Mzoudi faces.

The dramatic sequence of events began when trial judge Ruehle revealed the existence of new evidence from a witness whose identity had not been revealed by German investigators.

He said this witness testified that only suicide pilots Mohamed Atta, Marwan al Shehi and Ziad Jarrah, along with Ramzi bin al-Shaibah, an al Qaeda leader now in U.S. custody, belonged to the core group of Hamburg plotters.

The witness said the four did not include anybody else in their plans for the suicide plane attacks on U.S. cities.

Ruehle told the court that the arrest warrant for Mzoudi, who had been held since October 2002, had now been lifted as there was no further reason for his detention.

Proceedings were set to resume on Thursday afternoon but it was not clear if the trial could continue.


Mzoudi, 31, is charged with several thousand counts of aiding and abetting murder and membership of a terrorist organisation, the Hamburg cell.

He is accused of handling money for the plotters, training at an al Qaeda camp in Afghanistan, and covering up for members of the Hamburg cell while they were in Afghanistan or taking flying lessons in the United States.

But Ruehle said: "There is the serious possibility that Mzoudi was purposefully left out of the attack plans despite his links to the Hamburg group and despite his stay in Afghanistan, and that his supportive actions were not consciously made."

State prosecutor Walter Hemberger had opposed the request for Mzoudi's release and said the unidentified witness could only be bin al-Shaibah himself, who was captured in Pakistan in September 2002 and is accused of liasing between the Hamburg cell and al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

Hemberger said the new evidence was just an attempt to protect others and cover up details of the plot.

A lawyer for the convicted Moroccan, Motassadeq, said his client should also be freed on the basis of the new evidence.

"We will make an immediate move to get him out, this is clear," lawyer Josef Graessle-Muenscher told Reuters. "If Ramzi bin al-Shaibah said the cell was only four people, and this was him and the three hijackers then the case is clear."

The cases have parallels with that of Zacarias Moussaoui, the only September 11 conspirator to be charged in the United States. Moussaoui has demanded the right to question bin al-Shaibah and two other al Qaeda captives who might help clear him. The U.S. government refuses on national security grounds.

15 years 911 conspirator
19 suspects named { September 14 2001 }
911 cases proving difficult in germany { December 13 2004 }
911 hijackers trail left deliberately for fbi
911 widows want able danger investigation opened
Abdelghani Mzoudi [jpg]
Accused terror leader condemns 911 attacks { April 26 2005 }
Aljazeera interviewed
All 911 data leads to fbi dead ends { January 17 2006 }
Bin laden moroccan bodyguard released by pentagon { January 30 2006 }
Case against 911 suspects in spain is weak { April 22 2005 }
Charges against 911 plotter weak { July 18 2004 }
Charges dropped against a 20th hijacker { May 14 2008 }
Chertoff framed 911 on alqaeda { February 15 2005 }
Court releases moroccan 911 suspect { December 11 2003 }
Evidence trail leads to florida { September 13 2001 }
Fbi arabic names { October 23 2001 }
Fbi has new 20th hijacker
Fbi informant Ali Mohamed close to 911 terrorists
Fbi informant helped pentagon hijackers open bank account
Fbi informant was hijackers landlord
Fbi names 19 { September 15 2001 }
Fbi threatened family of 911 suspect { October 25 2007 }
Federal probe finds guards mistreated 911 detainees
Friend of pentagon hijackers released to yemen { August 10 2004 }
German appeals court upheld mzoudi acquittal
German court clears 911 suspect
German court sentences suspect again after lack of evidence
Hijacker father says picture has no resemblance { September 25 2001 }
Hijacker questioned
Hijacker says he is not the hijacker
Hijackers lived with FBI informant
Hijackers of flight77 set off metal detectors
Hijackers rented atlanta plane
Hijackers trained at US military schools { September 16 2001 }
Hijackers visa express program started 3 months before 911 { August 6 2002 }
Interrogation of new 20th hijacker detailed in time magazine { September 11 2001 }
Jarrah story no sense { October 23 2001 }
Jazeera reporter convincted for connection to 911 { September 26 2005 }
Jordianian student acquitted in 911 perjury case { November 17 2006 }
Married to alqaeda
Men sprewed anti american sentiments
Moroccan sentenced in germany denies 911 involvement
Nabil almarabh { September 4 2002 }
No arab suspects have links to 911
Omar saeed 911 mastermind brit intelligence agent { May 27 2008 }
Pentagon forbades officer 911 testifying
Public library computer { September 17 2001 }
Qaddafi says london terrorist safe house { October 25 2001 }
San diego student connection to hijackers case mistrial { May 4 2006 }
Saudi citizens
Senator asks fbi to investigate secret military int unit { August 26 2005 }
Shady evidence implicates codes expert { January 30 2004 }
Spain charges moroccan in connection with 911 { September 11 2001 }
Spain suspect denies knowledge of terror cell { April 25 2005 }
Spain trial of 24 muslims with 911 links
Spanish court throws out 911 conviction { June 1 2006 }
Spanish prosecutors seek 222k yrs for qaeda suspects { February 14 2005 }
Subject flees
Supreme court rejects appeal over secret 911 detentions { September 11 2001 }
Suspect freed from lack of evidence now jailed again { November 17 2006 }
Suspect in germany denied knowing anything 911 { January 9 2007 }
Suspects in daytona beach strip club night before
Syrian convincted in 911 attacks with weak evidence { September 26 2005 }
Terror suspect admits he met binladen { April 9 2003 }
Top 911 suspect was granted visa { January 27 2004 }
Top alqaeda member captured { May 1 2003 }
Tracing trail of hijackers [pdf]
Two suspects rented from anthrax victim { October 15 2001 }
Uk pliot wrongly accused sues fbi { September 16 2003 }
Worlds only 911 convinct wins retrial { March 4 2004 }
Yemeni fugative 911 { July 14 2002 }

Files Listed: 72


CIA FOIA Archive

National Security
Support one-state solution for Israel and Palestine Tea Party bumper stickers JFK for Dummies, The Assassination made simple