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German Court Overturns Acquittal of Man Charged in Connection With 9/11 US Attacks


Germany's highest court of appeals has overturned the acquittal of a man tried on charges of accessory to murder in connection with the September 11 U.S. terrorist attacks.

The court Thursday said that Mounir el-Motassadeq, a Moroccan friend of the September 11 hijackers, is indeed guilty of accessory to murder, and must return to court to receive a new sentence.

He now faces up to 15 years in jail. Motassadeq is already serving a seven year sentence for belonging to a terrorist organization.

The German judge sided with prosecutors, who argued that Motassadeq knew in advance that his associates had been planning attacks using hijacked planes.

Motassadeq's case has gone through a series of appeals and retrials prior to Thursday's ruling.

A German court convicted Motassadeq in 2003 of membership in a terrorist organization and of being an accessory to murder. However, an appeals court later threw out that verdict, noting that the U.S. government had withheld information relative to his defense.

Last year, a court acquitted Motassadeq of being an accessory to murder.

Motassadeq was accused of providing logistical help to the Hamburg-based terrorist cell involved in the September 11 attacks.

Motassadeq will return to a court in Hamburg to face sentencing on the accessory to murder charge.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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