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Germany

Maximum Sentence Asked for 9/11 Suspect

German prosecutors on Tuesday demanded the maximum 15 years in prison for Moroccan national Mounir el Motassadeq, who is being tried for the second time over the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States. Federal prosecutors said Motassadeq, 31, was guilty of membership in a terrorist organization and more than 3,000 counts of accessory to murder for the assistance he allegedly offered the suicide hijackers. Motassadeq was sentenced to a 15-year prison sentence by the same court in the northern German port city of Hamburg in February 2003. But a federal tribunal overturned the conviction last year and ordered a new trial on the grounds that the court had not been granted access to the testimony of top al Qaeda a suspects in US custody. Motassadeq has insisted that while he was a friend of the three Hamburg-based suicide hijackers, he was unaware of their plans to attack New York and Washington. A verdict in the new trial is expected on August 19.

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