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German trial of 9/11 suspect collapses

Embarrassment for Washington as judge halts hearing after statement from mystery witness which exonerates accused. The trial of a Moroccan accused of plotting the September 11 attacks spectacularly collapsed last night after new evidence by a mystery witness – believed to be the al-Qaida mastermind Ramzi bin al-Shibh – was presented to a German court. In an embarrassing blow to US efforts to bring those involved in planning the attacks to justice, a judge ordered the immediate release of Abdelghani Mzoudi. Mr Mzoudi, 31, had been on trial for four months. He was allegedly a member of the Hamburg-based al-Qaida cell which organised the attacks, and was said to have provided logistical support to Mohammed Atta and the other hijackers. Yesterday the judge, Klaus Rühle, said the evidence clearly exonerated Mr Mzoudi. “If there is any doubt of his innocence he has to be released,” he added. Mr Mzoudi grinned and walked out. Full Story

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