X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
The mother of Zacarias Moussaoui, the only person charged in the Sept. 11 attacks, said Friday he has told her he is innocent. “My son tells me he is not guilty,” Aicha el-Wafi said on CBS’ “The Early Show.” “He has told me he has proof that he did nothing and that at the appropriate time he will show that proof.” El-Wafi spoke on CBS’ “The Early Show” after coming to the Washington, D.C., area Thursday night to plead for her 33-year-old son and to attend his arraignment, scheduled for today in federal court in Alexandria, Va. Moussaoui has been indicted on six conspiracy charges in the attacks that killed about 3,000 people in New York City, at the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania. He was in jail on other charges at the time of the attacks. A federal judge on Thursday set a March 29 deadline for prosecutors to decide whether they will pursue the death penalty against Moussaoui. The deadline set by U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema in Alexandria is an extension of the normal time frame, and follows a recommendation offered by both prosecutors and defense attorneys, who have asked for additional time to handle the complex case. Four of the six charges against Moussaoui, including conspiracy to commit acts of terrorism, carry a possible death sentence. But the prosecutors must file notice of their intention to seek the death penalty, and the Justice Department has an internal review commission that decides when to do so. Bryan Sierra, a spokesman for the Justice Department, said no decision has been made on whether to seek the death penalty and Moussaoui’s case will go through the same review commission that is used for all potential capital cases. Brinkema also agreed to waive the defendant’s speedy trial rights, which is typical in death penalty cases. Normally in federal court, a trial date must be set within 70 days of a defendant’s arraignment. But prosecutors and defense attorneys both agreed that more time would be necessary. Brinkema denied the lawyers’ joint request to postpone the setting of a trial date until the death penalty issue is resolved. Brinkema told the lawyers in an order filed Thursday to be prepared to set a trial date when Moussaoui is arraigned today. She also denied a joint request to delay any mental health examination of Moussaoui until the death penalty issue is resolved. Brinkema said that she saw no reason to delay such testing, given that Moussaoui faces serious charges and a possible life sentence even if the prosecution decides against pursuing an execution. Finally, Brinkema agreed to hear a motion filed by Court TV seeking to broadcast the trial. Federal rules prohibit cameras in courtrooms, but Court TV is arguing the rule is unconstitutional. Brinkema set a Jan. 9 hearing for Court TV’s motion and gave the prosecution and defense until Jan. 4 to make their positions on the issue known. Copyright 2002 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Benefits of a Digital Membership:

  • Free access to 3 articles* every 30 days
  • Access to the entire ALM network of websites
  • Unlimited access to the ALM suite of newsletters
  • Build custom alerts on any search topic of your choosing
  • Search by a wide range of topics

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?

 
 

ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2020 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.