Moussaoui makes a pitch for live testimony of al-Qaida witness
Wednesday, July 23rd 2003, 12:00 am
News On 6
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) _ Terrorism suspect Zacarias Moussaoui says it's not enough that a judge agreed to let him question an al-Qaida witness in a deposition that would be taped for possible trial use.
``I prefer live action, blood and flesh,'' Moussaoui said in a recent motion asking that the witness be questioned live before jurors.
U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema this week released several of Moussaoui's motions, something she does periodically after the government checks for possible attempts to contact terrorists through code words.
Moussaoui, accused of conspiring with the 19 Sept. 11 attackers to commit terrorism and hijack airplanes, is the only U.S. defendant charged with crimes related to the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
Brinkema has ordered the government to produce suspected Sept. 11 planner Ramzi Binalshibh for questioning by Moussaoui through a remote hookup. The government has refused, contending national security would be harmed, and Brinkema is considering a wide range of sanctions that could include dismissal of the charges.
Moussaoui, calling himself ``the pure Muslim,'' said he wanted the live testimony ``to expose the blatant lies'' of the prosecution. He said Binalshibh would ``confirm Zacarias Moussaoui non-participation status'' in the Sept. 11 attacks.
While admitting he's an al-Qaida loyalist, Moussaoui has contended he was not part of the Sept. 11 conspiracy but was to be part of a later operation outside the United States. Court filings said that Brinkema ordered the deposition of Binalshibh after court-appointed defense lawyers convinced her that Binalshibh's testimony may back up Moussaoui's story.
The government has asked the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va. to stop the deposition but the court said it would not intervene until Brinkema decides on a punishment.
Moussaoui said the ``9/11 Mega Production Story can only be told'' when he could ``direct the production and confrontation of evidence of 9/11 air show.
``Therefore ... you must order a classified trial with national security vetted juror so we can bring the brother to a secret court location,'' he said. ``Or no trial.''