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German Court Considers Sentence for Moroccan in Sept. 11 Case

A Moroccan man convicted as an accessory to murder in the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States has again claimed his innocence.

Mounir el-Motassadeq told a Hamburg court he did not know the attackers were in the United States or their plans. He made his emotional appeal as the court opened a sentencing hearing in his case.

Earlier, lawyers for the 32-year-old defendant challenged the constitutionality of the judicial panel in the case and demanded suspension of the hearings. The court adjourned the hearing until Monday and indicated that sentencing could come then.

In November, Germany's highest appeals court overturned an earlier decision acquitting Motassadeq of the charges after determining he was aware that Mohamed Atta and other associates were planning the attacks on the United States.

Motassadeq now faces up to 15 years in prison.

In 2005 a lower court sentenced him to a seven-year term after convicting him of membership in a terrorist organization.

Prosecutors say Motassadeq provided logistical help to the Hamburg-based terrorist cell involved in the September 11 attacks.

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