Feds Defy Judge in Moussaoui Case; Dismissal Possible

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The Justice Department yesterday for a second time defied the federal judge overseeing the case of accused Sept. 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui, saying it would not comply with her order to turn over two top al Qaeda detainees for interviews by Moussaoui and his legal team, the Washington Post reports.

The refusal to produce the witnesses — identified by Post sources as former al Qaeda operations chief Khalid Sheik Mohammed and Mustafa Ahmed Hawsawi, the alleged paymaster to the Sept. 11, 2001, hijackers — means that the case against Moussaoui could be dismissed by the judge.

Under federal laws governing disclosure of classified information in criminal cases, U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema can sanction the government for refusing her order. Prosecutors acknowledged in court papers yesterday that Brinkema probably will respond by dismissing the indictment against Moussaoui — but they also said that they would appeal a dismissal, or other punishments, to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit.

Link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A56579-2003Sep10.html

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