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Moussaoui Jury Rules the Confessed Terrorist May be Executed

  • VOA News

The jury in the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui has decided that death is a possible sentence for the confessed al-Qaida conspirator.

After four days of deliberation, jurors at a US federal court outside Washington have ruled that Moussaoui was responsible for at least one death in the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks, making him eligible to be put to death.

Moussaoui sat with eyes averted as the verdict was read Monday. "You'll never get my blood," he said afterward as he was led away from the courtroom, adding, "God curse you all."

Jurors will now have to decide if the 37-year-old Frenchman deserves to die. They begin hearing testimony in the second phase of the trial Thursday. It may include statements from the families of the victims of the September 11th attacks.

Moussaoui is the only person to have been charged in connection with the September 11th attacks

Moussaoui was arrested in August, 2001 on immigration violations while he was taking lessons to fly a large commercial aircraft.

He eventually pleaded guilty, and told authorities he was training to fly a jet into the White House in a second wave of attacks. However, last week, Moussaoui testified he was part of the September 11th plot.

The prosecution's case nearly fell apart last month when a government lawyer was found to have coached key witnesses against the judge's order. Those witnesses were barred from testifying.

Moussaoui's defense attorneys have argued their client made up a September 11th link in an attempt to glorify himself.

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