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U.S. Might Compromise In Moussaoui Dispute

Middle Ground Possible on Witness Access. Federal officials yesterday expressed support for a possible middle ground that could resolve the dispute over key al Qaeda witnesses that has stalled the prosecution of alleged Sept. 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui. A compromise allowing Moussaoui access to statements made by the detainees, without letting him or his attorneys interview the witnesses in person, “would be a very reasonable accommodation of the issues swirling around this case,” said a senior Justice Department official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The witness access issue has dramatically slowed the only U.S. criminal prosecution directly related to the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. Prosecutors refused to turn over the three detainees being sought by Moussaoui. As a result, a federal judge in Alexandria in October eliminated the possibility of the death penalty for Moussaoui and the introduction of any evidence that he took part in the hijackings. Full Story

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