RealNews

Hearing to Affect Government's Ability to Try Terror Suspects in Civilian Courts

The Justice Department’s ability to continue prosecuting members of Al Qaeda and other important terrorist suspects in civilian courts is on the line in a landmark appeals court hearing this week in the government’s case against Zacarias Moussaoui, Bush administration officials and defense lawyers agree. The specific question before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, in Richmond, Va., on Tuesday is whether Mr. Moussaoui, the only person charged in an American court with conspiring in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, has the right to question captured Qaeda members held overseas whose testimony may aid in his defense. The Justice Department is arguing that he has no such right and that the government cannot make captured terrorists available for testimony without divulging national security secrets and interrupting the government’s effort to interrogate them for information that might pre-empt terrorist attacks. Full Story

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