Hamburg′s Sept. 11 Retrial Delayed Slightly | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 31.08.2004
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Hamburg's Sept. 11 Retrial Delayed Slightly

The retrial of Mounir el Motassadeq, the only Sept. 11 suspect ever convicted, was put on hold for one week Tuesday to allow the defense team time to find a replacement after their lead lawyer was seriously hurt in a motorcycle accident. Josef Grässle-Münscher, who was instrumental in winning a retrial for Motassadeq in March, was hospitalized Saturday with life-threatening injuries. The lawyer had effectively argued that the Moroccan, who stands accused of aiding Sept. 11 lead pilot Mohamed Atta in the Hamburg terror cell, had been unfairly denied evidence from US-held al Qaeda suspects. A German appeals court upheld the position and now Motassadeq is back in the dock again. Worried that their client's defense would suffer after Grässle-Münscher was injuried, Motassadeq's lawyers applied for a postponement of the trial. But the presiding judge in the case ruled that a one-week break would be sufficient. If convicted of aiding and abetting the attacks in the United States, Motassadeq could receive up to 15 years in jail.

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