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Court Sets Dec. 3 Date in Moussaoui Case

A federal appeals court scheduled oral arguments for Dec. 3 on whether terrorism defendant Zacarias Moussaoui can question three al-Qaida witnesses who might aid his defense. The government has asked the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., to reverse a lower court and rule that the prisoners are enemy combatants who are beyond the reach of federal judges and criminal defendants. The prosecution suffered a severe setback when, after refusing to make the prisoners available, U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema barred the government from introducing evidence related to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks against Moussaoui and from seeking the death penalty. The dispute has delayed the start of a trial in the only U.S. case arising from the Sept. 11 attacks. If the government is unable to keep Moussaoui from questioning the prisoners, the Bush administration may move the case to military jurisdiction, where rules may favor the government in national security matters. Full Story

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