New arguments ordered in 9/11 conspirator's case
Larry O'Dell, Associated Press
July 16th, 2009
"In January, Antonipillai argued that Moussaoui's guilty plea was invalid because the government failed to turn over evidence that could have helped his defense. He asked for a new trial for Moussaoui, who once claimed to be part of the 2001 conspiracy but has since changed his story."
RICHMOND, Va. – A federal appeals court ordered new arguments Tuesday in the case of Sept. 11 conspirator Zacharias Moussaoui, the only person to stand trial for the terrorist attacks in a U.S. court.
A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments in the Moussaoui case in January. But one of those judges, Karen J. Williams, retired last week — effectively immediately — after being diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's disease.
Williams' departure prompted the court to schedule a rehearing, court clerk Patricia Connor said. She said the court may have to order new arguments in some other pending cases heard by Williams. However, none will have a higher profile than the Moussaoui case.
Moussaoui is serving a life sentence after pleading guilty to helping plan the attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people. His lawyer, Justin Antonipillai, declined to comment on Tuesday's court order.