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Judge Unexpectedly Reverses Ban, Allows Moussaoui Back into Courtroom


A U.S. federal judge has unexpectedly allowed confessed al-Qaida conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui back into court Wednesday as jury selection continues for the sentencing phase of his trial.

On Tuesday, Judge Leonie Brinkema barred Moussaoui from the jury selection process after he made an insult-laden outburst in the courtroom just outside Washington.

Brinkema gave no explanation for her change of mind, although at an earlier court session, she said she might reconsider if Moussaoui altered his behavior.

Moussaoui also disrupted the first day of jury selection, prompting the judge to remove him from court four times.

Moussaoui pleaded guilty last April to conspiring with al-Qaida to fly aircraft into U.S. targets. A jury is being selected to decide whether he should be executed or sentenced to life in prison.

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