Early release for convicted terrorist in Germany

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Reuters reports that

Mounir El Motassadeq, a Moroccan man convicted in August of membership in a terrorist organisation and sentenced to seven years in prison, will be released early, an official in the Hamburg Justice Ministry said on Tuesday.

"I can confirm ... that he will be released," the official told Reuters.

Motassadeq was a friend of three of the September 11, 2001 suicide pilots.

Germany's Federal Constitutional Court said in a statement that it had upheld an appeal against Motassadeq's conviction.

In February 2003 he was convicted in Germany of over 3,000 counts of accessory to murder. He was the first person to have been convicted in direct relation to the September 11 attacks, but the sentence of 15 years ran into trouble on appeal. Though the German Justice Ministry pressed the United States to allow Ramzi Binalshibh to testify, the U.S. refused, and the verdict and sentence were set aside. (The same problems led to the acquittal of Abdelghani Mzoudi, another accomplice.)

Motassadeq was re—tried in long trial and convicted on August 19, 2005 of "membership in a terrorist organization". He was sentenced to seven years of imprisonment.

Ed Lasky  2 08 06

Reuters reports that

Mounir El Motassadeq, a Moroccan man convicted in August of membership in a terrorist organisation and sentenced to seven years in prison, will be released early, an official in the Hamburg Justice Ministry said on Tuesday.

"I can confirm ... that he will be released," the official told Reuters.

Motassadeq was a friend of three of the September 11, 2001 suicide pilots.

Germany's Federal Constitutional Court said in a statement that it had upheld an appeal against Motassadeq's conviction.

In February 2003 he was convicted in Germany of over 3,000 counts of accessory to murder. He was the first person to have been convicted in direct relation to the September 11 attacks, but the sentence of 15 years ran into trouble on appeal. Though the German Justice Ministry pressed the United States to allow Ramzi Binalshibh to testify, the U.S. refused, and the verdict and sentence were set aside. (The same problems led to the acquittal of Abdelghani Mzoudi, another accomplice.)

Motassadeq was re—tried in long trial and convicted on August 19, 2005 of "membership in a terrorist organization". He was sentenced to seven years of imprisonment.

Ed Lasky  2 08 06