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Prosecutors in Moussaoui sentencing trial conclude

[JURIST] Prosecutors concluded their case in the sentencing trial of Zacarias Moussaoui [JURIST news archive] Thursday with the testimony of former FBI agent Aaron Zebley, who claimed that the FBI would have been able to trace records and identify 11 of the 19 hijackers if Moussaoui had admitted receiving thousands of dollars in wire transfers when he was arrested in August 2001. Presiding US District Judge Leonie Brinkema [official profile] has already warned prosecutors not to base their case on Moussaoui's failure to act [JURIST report], which she described as "shaky legal territory." Defense attorneys have countered that the FBI failed to respond to 70 requests by FBI agent Harry Samit to investigate Moussaoui as a terrorist-in-training.

Moussaoui's lawyers began their defense Thursday by outlining the government's failure to track two of the Sept. 11 hijackers who were known al Qaeda associates. Moussaoui could take the stand as early as next week, over his lawyers' objections. Moussaoui pleaded guilty [JURIST report] last April to six conspiracy charges, and the current trial will determine whether he receives the death penalty or life in prison. AP has more.

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