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German Court Against Jailing Sep. 11 Suspect

A Hamburg Court on Tuesday rejected a request by German prosecutors to return to custody Moroccan Abdelghani Mzoudi, charged with aiding a Hamburg-based al Qaeda cell that included three of the Sept. 11 hijackers. Mzoudi was spectacularly freed by the court on Dec. 11 after German federal investigators presented a statement quoting an unidentified informant as saying Mzoudi was not involved in the Sept. 11 plot. Prosecutors lost a federal appeal to re-arrest Mzoudi after a federal agent had testified last week that German authorities have more evidence against him. The Hamburg court repeated on Tuesday that the government’s case against Mzoudi still failed to warrant keeping him jailed. Mzoudi has now applied for political asylum in Germany, which he hopes will protect him from being sent back to Morocco, where he fears he would be handed over to U.S. officials. Mzoudi faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted of charges of supporting a terrorist organization and more than 3,000 counts of accessory to murder.