Moussaoui Trial Opens with a Bang

from the one-out-of-two-ain’t-bad dept.

The trial of suspected 9/11 collaborator Zacarias Moussaoui opened in Alexandria, VA, yesterday, and things immediately became interesting as the Moroccan-derived Frenchman asked to be heard, then launched into an hour-long diatribe against his jailers, the prosecution, his defense lawyers, the judge, prospective jurors, the U.S., Israel, and Russia. Claiming he could not be represented properly by his non-Muslim court-appointed defenders, he asked to be allowed to use the $30,000 he has in the bank (currently frozen as suspected al Queda assets) to hire a Muslim lawyer, or, barring that, to be allowed to represent himself. He also asked for a computer and better lighting in his jail cell. Finally, he asked that he be allowed to waive trial by jury, instead having his case (and potential death sentence) decided solely by Judge Leonie Brinkema. Brinkema said okay on the computer and better-lighting requests, ordered a psychiatric evaluation to determine if Moussaoui was fit to represent himself, and said she’d get back to him on the waived jury thing.

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