By Jameelah Kareem
Islamic Post Staff Writer
The 2005 case of convicted September 11th conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui was returned to federal courts earlier this month when Moussaouis’ lawyers said his guilty plead was invalid. Moussaoui pleaded guilty to six terrorism-conspiracy counts in April 2005.
According to the Associated Press, Moussaouis’ lawyers are claiming that secrecy in court was the reason why Moussaoui didn’t have the ability to present adequate defense, that the government failed to turn over evidence that could have helped his defense, and in return the guilty plea should be thrown out, life sentence be withdrawn, and a new trial granted. The lawyers argued that Moussaouis’ 5th and 6th amendment rights were in violation making his guilty plea invalid.
U.S. Justice Department attorney Kevin Gingras said that U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema, “bent over backward” to ensure that Mr. Moussaoui understood what he was doing and the consequences. The Associated Press also stated that prosecutor Mr. Antonipillai said the jury spared him the death penalty leaving his eligibility for life in prison the only alternative.
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