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German high court refuses to hear Motassadeq appeal

[JURIST] Germany’s highest court, the Federal Constitutional Court [official website, in German] in Karlsruhe, announced Friday that it will not hear the appeal [JURIST report] of the 15-year sentence [JURIST report] of convicted September 11 [JURIST news archive] conspirator Mounir al-Motassadeq [BBC profile; JURIST news archive]. Moroccan-born Motassadeq has another appeal to German appellate courts filed, but it is unknown when it will be considered. Lawyers for Motassadeq have also said they may take the case to the European Court of Justice [official website].

Motassadeq admitted to attending an al-Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan and being friends with some of the Sept. 11 hijackers, but denies knowledge of the attack. The court found Motassadeq guilty because he knew his accomplices planned to hijack planes, even if he remained ignorant as to the details of the attacks. The court also found that Motassadeq aided the hijackers by funneling money and helping them maintain appearances of being university students. Motassadeq's defense team hoped to force a new trial with witnesses previously prevented from testifying by the United States government. Motassadeq's first conviction was overturned [JURIST report] in 2004, in part due to concerns over access to witnesses, but on retrial American officials refused to allow terror suspects in US custody to testify in court [JURIST report], instead agreeing only to provide summaries of its interrogations of prisoners. AP has more.

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