New Terrorism Trial Ordered In Germany

by TChris

Terrorism prosecutions in Germany continue to be compromised by the failure of the United States to provide access to witnesses. Last month, a German court acquitted Abdelghani Mzoudi of charges that he aided 9/11 hijackers because the United States would not provide access to witnesses held by the American government. Now a German court has ordered a new trial for the only person convicted for playing a part in the 9/11 attacks.

Defense lawyers for Moroccan citizen Mounir Motassadeq had repeatedly asked for evidence from Ramzi Binalshibh, who is in secret U.S. custody. U.S. officials have called Binalshibh a central conspirator in the attacks, but they declined to produce him for the trial, citing national security concerns.

Motassadeq's conviction of membership in a terrorist organization and accessory to murder was based on evidence that he helped the hijackers stage the attacks by transferring money. Motassadeq denied knowledge of their plans.

The U.S. government's prosecution of Zacarias Moussoui derailed when the government refused to allow him to interview the same witness. It therefore isn't surprising that the U.S. would invoke the same policy to subvert fair trials for defendants in other countries. It is surprising that the U.S. is willing to compromise terrorism prosecutions for the sake of adhering to that misguided policy.

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