A German court has convicted a Moroccan man accused of aiding the hijackers who carried out the September 11th 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States, but acquitted him of direct involvement in the attacks.
The Hamburg court found Mounir el Motassadeq guilty of membership in a terrorist group and sentenced him on Friday to seven years in prison. His lawyers said he will appeal. Prosecutors had demanded a 15-year prison term for Motassadeq. Defense lawyers had argued he provided only innocent aid to fellow Muslims when he made financial payments to the hijackers, and that he was unaware of their plans. A Hamburg court had convicted Motassadeq in 2003 of aiding and abetting the attacks, but an appeals court overturned the verdict because the court was denied evidence from al-Qaida suspects held by the United States. U.S. authorities later presented the court with summaries of interrogations of the detainees.