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Moussaoui asks standby lawyers for help

"No more lie, no more trick," Moussaoui writes in his motion.  

From Phil Hirschkorn

ALEXANDRIA, Virginia (CNN) -- Zacarias Moussaoui, the first person facing U.S. criminal charges related to the September 11 terrorist attacks, has asked his court-appointed lawyers to help him review the voluminous government evidence in the case.

It is only the second time Moussaoui has turned to them for help since being deemed mentally competent to defend himself seven weeks ago.

In a motion unsealed Tuesday, Moussaoui, 34, a French national who speaks English, asked the presiding judge to grant him a jail hook-up to a secure Internet site that contains electronic versions of documents in evidence.

The Virginia Federal Defender's office established the Web site for internal use to allow review of the hundreds of CD-ROMs turned over by the government, plus the defense counsel notes on those documents.

In a motion titled "Stop the Mockery of Justice, My Cell Is Full Of Boxes of CD," Moussaoui, who has access to a computer and printer in jail, requested the Internet connection.


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"The quantity is so enormous already that nobody could even load all the CD before trial," Moussaoui wrote.

The defense lawyers, who remain on standby status to assist Moussaoui, wrote to the court that "Mr. Moussaoui is correct that he cannot possibly review all of the discovery CD's before trial. It would be an impossible task even if he had begun months ago."

One defense lawyer has said if all the government documents were printed out, the paper would fill the entire Alexandria jail.

"Even with such access [to the Web site], he will not be able to complete his own review," the lawyers wrote, "but he would be a lot further along with this assistance."

U.S. Judge Leonie Brinkema has already asked the prosecutors to provide Moussaoui with printouts of much evidence. Prosecutors have said there are 70,000 pages of documents just on Moussaoui's time in Oklahoma and Minnesota, where he attended flight schools last year.

The motion for computer access was one of three new ones filed by the defendant -- his first in two weeks. In those, he repeated old assertions, namely that the FBI had him under electronic surveillance prior to his arrest last August.

In an affidavit ordered by Brinkema, the FBI's Assistant Director for Counterterrorism, Pat D'Amauro, said the claim was untrue, as prosecutors previously told the court, but Moussaoui refused to believe it.

"No more lie, no more trick," he wrote.

Only last week, Moussaoui made his first request of the lawyers he hasn't spoken to since April, asking them to track down a potential trial witness in England.

He likened his request for legal assistance to a starving Muslim eating pork, normally forbidden under a strict Islamic diet.

"I will communicate" with Virginia Federal Defender Frank Dunham and defense lawyer Edward MacMahon, he wrote, "because I have no other access to the outside world."

Three other lawyers are available to him, including a death penalty expert.

The government is seeking to execute Moussaoui for his alleged role in the terrorism conspiracy fostered by the Islamic militant group, al Qaeda, that culminated in the September 11 hijackings and attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

Moussaoui has said in court that he belonged to al Qaeda, swore allegiance to its leader, Osama bin Laden, and that he is guilty of participating in some unspecified conspiracy. He denies a role in the September 11 attacks but says he can explain them.




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