German court bases 9/11 judgment on conspiracy theory
By Elias Davidsson
15 January 2007
Germany’s highest court, the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe, announced on January 12, 2007 that it will not hear the appeal of the sentence of “convicted September 11 conspirator” Mounir al-Motassadeq.
Mounir el Motassadeq, a Moroccan, has admitted to have known Mohammed Atta, Marwan al-Shehhi and Ziad Jarrah – three of the 19 Arabs named by the FBI as the “hijackers” of 9/11 – when they lived and studied in Hamburg. He also admitted to have trained in Afghanistan but denied to have known of his friends’ “murderous plans”. He was convicted on January 8th to 15 years jail as accessory to the murder of 246 people on the four hijacked planes. The Court, however, claimed it possessed evidence showing that he knew his friends planned to hijack and crash planes. Another Hamburg student, Abdel-Ghani Mzoudi, was acquitted on nearly identical evidence in 2004 and went home to Morocco.
The Court did not bother to examine whether Mounir’s friends actually participated in the alleged hijackings of 9/11, or even boarded the aircraft which crashed on 9/11. It simply assumed that this was true, apparently basing their belief on reports published in the German press. The Court presented no legal document proving this fact. It is on the base of such non-evidence that the Court decided to send el Motassadeq to jail for 15 years as “accessory to murder”.
Motassadeq started his address to the Court on Friday, January 5th with the following words: “Everything said here are only baseless allegations and conclusions…You are not interested in the truth.” He cried out: “I swear by God that I did not know what they wanted to do” and insisted again on his innocence. “There never was a terrorist organisation in Hamburg,” he said.
Part of the blame for his conviction must be laid at the feet of el Motassadeq’s lawyers. They failed to demand that the Court prove that Mounir’s friends participated in the mass murder of 9/11.
On November 20, 2006, I wrote to Dr. Gerhard Strate, one of Motassadeq’s two lawyers, reminding him of his duty to “use the best arguments available to defend his client”. I emphasized in my letter that there exists no evidence whatsoever to prove that Mounir’s friends (or any other Muslims) participated in the mass murder of 9/11, or even boarded the aircraft which crashed on that day. I added: “By failing to adduce the above facts in defense of your client, you do not only endanger his freedom and personal integrity but undermine the struggle of the families of 9/11 victims for the truth on the events of 9/11. By this letter, I consider having put you on notice regarding the above facts.”
Dr. Strate did not answer my letter. He did not demand that the Court produce evidence that Mounir’s friends participated in the mass murder of 9/11. Mounir’s lawyers have announced that they might appeal the judgment to the European Court of Justice.
Ladislav Anisic, one of two legal-aid lawyers in court for Motassadeq, said he would continue appeals for his client, who won earlier his first retrial because evidence from US interrogations of terrorists was withheld from the court. “This is only an intermediate stage on the way up to the next court,” he said outside the courtroom.