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THE HUNT

Moussaoui Ordered to Virginia for Trial

December 14, 2001|JOHN J. GOLDMAN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

NEW YORK — A federal judge Thursday ordered Zacarias Moussaoui, the first defendant indicted in connection with the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, sent to Virginia where he will be tried.

After Moussaoui's brief court appearance, Donald D. duBoulay his court-appointed lawyer, said the 33-year-old French citizen will tell a federal judge in Alexandria, Va., during his arraignment, scheduled for Jan. 2, that he is innocent.

On Thursday, the defendant refused to stand with everyone else when U.S. District Judge Barbara S. Jones entered and left the Manhattan courtroom.

"He has maintained his innocence," DuBoulay said.

DuBoulay said he had interviewed Moussaoui several times since the defendant, who entered the U.S. on a student visa, was detained on immigration charges on Aug. 17.

Asked about his client's reaction to the events of Sept. 11, the lawyer added: "He never said it was a good thing. He never said anything like that."

During Thursday's court appearance, Jones quickly denied bail. "There are no conditions or combination of conditions that would safeguard the community," she said.

The judge also rejected defense arguments that the government had failed to properly identify Moussaoui.

Moussaoui faces charges of conspiring to commit acts of terrorism, destroy aircraft, commit airplane piracy, use airplanes as weapons of mass destruction, murder government workers and destroy property.

If convicted, he could face the death penalty.

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