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Accused Shoe Bomber Pleads Not Guilty

Aired January 18, 2002 - 10:22   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: We want to go back to the federal courthouse in Boston, where an arraignment has just concluded for the man dubbed the shoe bomber. Richard Reid faces nine terrorism-related charges, all dealing with the December airline flight in which he allegedly tried to light explosives hidden in his shoes.

Our Jason Carroll was in that proceeding and joins us live with this report.

Jason, I misspoke before the break there. I think I said there was a plea agreement. In fact, it was the plea, and that's a big difference.

JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, Daryn. The arraignment ended just a few minutes ago. A relatively short proceeding, as far as they go. I can tell you, basically, what happened. Richard Reid entered plea of not guilty on all nine counts.

As he entered the courtroom, he was wearing the orange prison garb. He still had the long hair. He was unshaven, wearing the long beard. Sandals. He looked relatively calm as he entered the courtroom.

The judge went through and read all of the counts he was charged with, some of them being attempted murder, also using a weapon of mass destruction.

But again, Daryn, he has plead guilty to all nine counts involving his alleged role in trying to light a shoe bomb on board an American Airlines flight that left from Paris and was bound for Miami and diverted here, to Boston, after the flight crew on board tackled him once the flight attendant realized he was trying to set off that bomb by lighting a match to his shoe.

After the court went through and read all of the counts and he plead not guilty, a second court date was set, for March 4. That will be sort of a status conference at that point. Both sides will be able to come forward and speak to the judge and present more of their case -- Daryn.

KAGAN: Jason, to be clear, he pleaded not guilty to all of the charges.

CARROLL: He pled not guilty. Not pled guilty it all nine counts.

I should also tell you that if he is convicted on all nine counts, he faces life in prison -- Daryn.

KAGAN: I understand that this long list of charges includes a charge of a crime that didn't even exist before September 11, attempting wrecking a mass transportation vehicle. That's part of new legislation by Congress that makes that a crime.

CARROLL: Right, enacted after September 11 by Congress. In fact, the defense attorney seems to have some discrepancy about that. During the court proceeding, she said she didn't believe that an airliner could be construed as a transportation device used by a number of people. So she wanted the court to review that particular count.

But again, Reid has pled not guilty to all nine counts that he was charged with.

KAGAN: That will be an interesting argument: If an airliner is not a mass transportation vehicle, then I don't know what it, Jason.

Jason Carroll, in Boston, thank you very much.

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