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Moussaoui Wanted To Testify – For Prosecution

You know that our one party media is hating this.

They were hoping that, despite his confessions, he would get off with a slap on the wrist.

From a very disappointed Associated Press:

Al-Qaida Conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui Offered to Testify Against Himself, Prosecutors Reveal

Mar 29, 11:26 AM EST

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — In another twist to an already convoluted case, the jury deciding whether al-Qaida conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui will be executed learned that he offered last month to testify for prosecutors against himself at his death penalty trial.

He also told agents he did not want to die in prison, the jury was told Tuesday.

The disclosure, which came at the end of the testimony phase of Moussaoui's trial, provides the firmest evidence yet that 37-year-old Frenchman is seeking to derail his own defense in an effort to obtain martyrdom through execution.

It also could provide fodder for the closing arguments of both prosecutors and Moussaoui's court-appointed defense attorneys.

Closing arguments in the trial were set for Wednesday afternoon on whether Moussaoui's actions make him eligible for the death penalty. The jury must decide whether the only man charged in this country in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks will be executed or imprisoned for life. He the jury finds he is eligible for the death penalty, a second phase would determine whether a death sentence is imposed.

In a hearing Wednesday morning outside the jury's presence, prosecutors and defense attorneys argued over fine points of jury instructions and the implications of a hung jury in this phase. Prosecutors want a mistrial declared if the jury does not agree unanimously; defense attorneys argued that result should end the trial with a sentence of life in prison. U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema appeared to lean toward the defense argument, but did not resolve the issue.

To be eligible, prosecutors must prove that Moussaoui's actions resulted in at least one death on Sept. 11.

According to Tuesday's testimony, Moussaoui offered in February during a jailhouse meeting with prosecutors to testify for the government that he planned to hijack and pilot a fifth plane on Sept. 11.

FBI agent James Fitzgerald testified that Moussaoui told him – in a meeting requested by the defendant – that he did not want to die behind bars and it was "different to die in a battle … than in a jail on a toilet."

Moussaoui dropped his effort to testify for prosecutors after he learned that he had an absolute right to testify in his own defense.

On Monday, he stunned the court by asserting publicly for the first time that he was to fly a 747 jetliner into the White House on Sept. 11, despite having claimed for three years that he had no role in the plot. Instead, he had said he was to be part of a possible later attack.

The February meeting with the prosecution was to have been off the record but was ruled admissible after the defense introduced a partial transcript of Moussaoui's guilty plea last April.

In that 2005 pleading, Moussaoui said, "Everybody knows that I'm not 9/11 material" and that Sept. 11 "is not my conspiracy." He said he was going to attack the White House if the United States did not release radical Egyptian cleric Omar Abdel Rahman, imprisoned for other terrorist crimes.

The defense on Tuesday also presented evidence from two high-ranking al-Qaida operatives that cast doubt on Moussaoui's claim of involvement in 9/11.

Their testimony supports that of another top al-Qaida captive, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, chief organizer of the Sept. 11 attacks. He said in testimony read in court Monday that Moussaoui had nothing to do with the Sept. 11 plot, but was to have been part of a later wave of attacks.

Prosecutors argue that if Moussaoui had revealed his al-Qaida membership and his plans to hijack an aircraft, the FBI could have pursued leads that would have allowed them to track down most of the 9/11 hijackers and thwart or at least minimize the attacks.

The defense argues that nothing Moussaoui might have said would have made a difference because the FBI and other government agencies were consistently ignoring warnings prior to 9/11 that an attack was imminent.

The defense also argues that it's legally irrelevant to speculate on what might have happened if Moussaoui confessed, because Moussaoui always enjoyed a constitutional protection against self-incrimination.

The defense needs to go back to law school. There is no prohibition against incriminating yourself, if you want to.


This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, March 29th, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

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