Zacarias Moussaoui’s jaw-dropping performance April 22 set the course for a trial that could prove disastrous for the government regardless of its outcome.

In a virulent, 50-minute speech in open court, Moussaoui — the man government prosecutors say was meant to be the 20th hijacker on Sept. 11 — fired his court-appointed defense team, accusing them of working with the U.S. government to secure his execution. He also informed U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema that he plans to mount his own defense.

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