The U.S. judge in the sentencing trial of Zacarias Moussaoui has decided to allow government prosecutors to continue to seek the death penalty against the confessed al-Qaida conspirator.
In Virginia Tuesday, Judge Leonie Brinkema said the sentencing phase could continue against Moussaoui. She said, however, evidence from aviation experts considered key to the U.S. government's case would not be allowed during the trial.
Judge Brinkema had considered removing the death penalty after learning a government lawyer had improperly shared information with several key witnesses. After a day-long hearing, however, she threw out the testimony of Federal Aviation Administration and Transportation Security Administration officials who had been coached by government lawyer Carla Martin.
The jury is to decide whether Moussaoui, the only person charged in the United States in connection with the September 11, 2001 attacks, should be executed or sentenced to life in prison. Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.