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9/11 plotter faces death term
God curse you all, says Moussaoui

Alexandria (Virginia), April 4 (Reuters): A US jury today found Zacarias Moussaoui eligible for the death penalty, and the convicted September 11 conspirator shouted as he was led out of the court: “You’ll never get my blood. God curse you all.”

The same 12-person federal panel will return on Thursday to begin a second phase of his sentencing trial and decide whether he will be executed for his role in the hijacked airliner attacks or sentenced to life in prison.

Moussaoui’s sensational outburst as he was led out of the courtroom after hearing the verdict concluded the first phase of the proceedings that have been marked by his shouts after the judge and jury have departed.

After about 17 hours of deliberation, the jury found that Moussaoui lied to the FBI following his arrest three weeks before the September 11 attacks and the lies led to deaths in the hijacked airliner attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people. “Your findings mean we move on to phase two where the jury... ultimately (has) to make a final decision as to what sentence will be imposed,” said US district judge Leonie Brinkema. Moussaoui is the only person to be charged in the US in connection with the September 11 bombings.

Last year, the 37-year-old Frenchman of Moroccan descent pleaded guilty to six counts of conspiracy. Three of the counts carried a possible death sentence.

Dressed in a green prisoner jumpsuit and white cap, Moussaoui refused to stand when the verdict was read, instead remaining seated and gripping his chair. After hearing the verdict he sat still, with his mouth moving, as if in prayer.

The verdict sparked smiles, however, from some family members of people who died on September 11. “I thought I would be elated, but I wasn’t. Even though Moussaoui made certain negative comments, I still feel sorry for him,” said Abraham Scott, whose wife died at the Pentagon on September 11.

“I describe him like a dog with rabies, one that cannot be cured.”

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