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Moussaoui Granted Access to Witnesses

A federal judge yesterday granted Zacarias Moussaoui access to two more high-level al Qaeda operatives he says would help clear him of charges that he conspired to carry out the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, a source close to the case said. Moussaoui’s attorneys had requested trial testimony from former al Qaeda operations chief Khalid Sheik Mohammed and Mustafa Ahmed Hawsawi, a Saudi man who allegedly served as paymaster to the Sept. 11 hijackers and is named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the indictment against Moussaoui. Both have been captured and are being held in undisclosed locations. In a sealed order, U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema in Alexandria granted Moussaoui access to the two captives, the source said. The projected testimony from one of the witnesses, Moussaoui’s attorneys said in court papers, is crucial to the defense because “it eliminates Moussaoui from any role in the September 11 plot.” It was unclear yesterday what form the access to Mohammed and Hawsawi would take — depositions or actual trial testimony. In addition, the government, which vehemently opposed any access at all, is certain to appeal the order. The contents of the sealed order were first reported by CNN. Full Story

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