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The Nation

Jail Rules for Moussaoui Necessary, Prosecutors Say

April 18, 2002|From Associated Press

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A suspected Al Qaeda terrorist is justifiably confined under the tightest restrictions so he will not escape, assault his jailers or send coded messages to Osama bin Laden operatives, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Responding to Zacarias Moussaoui's claim that he was too isolated to aid his defense, the government asked a judge to oppose the defendant's "efforts atmicromanaging the prison."

Moussaoui, a French citizen, is the only person charged in connection with the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and the Pentagon and could face the death penalty.

His "commitment to join a deadly war against American civilians" won't be stopped by his imprisonment, prosecutors said.

The U.S. said it would allow Moussaoui computer access in a secure room, not in his cell as he requested.

U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema has scheduled a hearing for Monday on Moussaoui's request.

Moussaoui wants a larger cell with a laptop, a table and chair; CD-ROMs that would not be searched; telephone access to attorneys without being overheard; a ban on searches of his books, papers, computer and other defense preparation materials; a ban on recording conversations with counsel; and the right for a "Mr. Doe" to visit in the presence of counsel, who would not be identified to the government.

Moussaoui is charged with conspiring to commit terrorism, destroy aircraft, use airplanes as weapons of mass destruction and murder U.S. employees.

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