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German prosecutors seek arrest of 9/11 suspect after acquittal overturned

[JURIST] German prosecutors Friday filed an appeal for the arrest of Mounir al-Motassadeq [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], a German 9/11 suspect free on bail following Thursday's overturning of a lower court decision acquitting Motassadeq [JURIST report] of assisting the men who carried out the Sept. 11 attacks [JURIST news archive] on the US. Hamburg's state superior court ruled that despite Motassadeq's conviction, he should remain free on bail until future sentencing hearings, as Motassadeq has never violated his conditions of bail. Frank Wallenta, a spokesperson for the German federal prosecutors in Karlsruhe, told Deutsche Presse-Agentur that the court would nonetheless "have to realize this is a fairly urgent issue," citing the recent departure of Motassadeq's wife and offspring from Germany.

Motassadeq was initially convicted in 2003 for his involvement with the Sept. 11 attacks. The conviction was overturned [JURIST report] in March 2004. A second trial led to Motassadeq's August 2005 re-conviction [JURIST report] for belonging to a terrorist organization, but his acquittal on charges of being an accessory to the murder of the over 3,000 people killed in the World Trade Center attacks. Germany's Federal Constitutional Court [official website, in German] subsequently ordered Motassadeq's release in February while appeals of his conviction were pending. Motassadeq's lawyer says he will wait to hear Motassadeq's new sentence before determining whether to appeal again to the Constitutional Court. Deutsche Presse-Agentur has more.

11/18/06 - Motassadeq was taken into custody late Friday after a German high court in Karlsruhe cancelled his bail [Deutsche Welle report].

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