RealNews

Judge Rejects Bid to Block Access to Sept. 11 Planner

A federal judge yesterday rejected a government compromise in the battle over witness access in the case of the only person charged in the United States in connection with the Sept. 11 terror attacks, reaffirming an earlier ruling that Zacarias Moussaoui should be allowed to interview a top al Qaeda operative to prepare his defense. The order by U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema sends Moussaoui’s case back to the Richmond-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit. That court will decide whether Moussaoui and his lawyers can depose Ramzi Binalshibh, the self-described planner of the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. Government officials, who vehemently oppose a deposition, have indicated that they will seek to transfer the case to a military tribunal if they lose — which could imperil future efforts to try terrorism suspects in criminal courts. Full Story

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