German Court Convicts 9/11 Defendant
<graphic/>19 August 2005 (RFE/RL) - A court in Hamburg, Germany, today convicted a Moroccan man suspected of helping the 11 September 2001 hijackers of membership of a terrorist organization.
The man, Mounir el Motassadeq, was sentenced to seven years in prison following a yearlong trial.
He is the first person convicted anywhere in connection with the 11 September 2001 attacks on the United States.
The 31-year-old Moroccan was charged with more than 3,000 counts of accessory to murder, as well as with membership of a terrorist organization over his links to the Al-Qaeda cell in Hamburg that included Mohamed Atta and two other hijackers.
Prosecutors had sought a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.
El Motassadeq originally was convicted in 2003 on the same charges and given the maximum sentence. But an appeals court overturned the conviction
, ruling that he was unfairly denied testimony from key Al-Qaeda suspects in U.S. custody.
(compiled from agency reports)