WASHINGTON (AP) — Convicted Sept. 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui appealed the life sentence he got this month and the denial of his request for a new trial.
In a one-paragraph notice of appeal, his court-appointed lawyers said Friday he wanted the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to review the final judgment and sentence he received May 4 and Judge Leonie Brinkema’s May 8 denial of his request to withdraw his guilty plea and go to trial on the original charges.
The notice was required to be filed by May 18 if the 37-year-old Frenchman wanted to appeal his case. It contained no legal arguments about the case; those will be filed later with the appeals court.
Since his sentencing, Moussaoui has said he lied when testifying at his sentencing trial that he was to hijack a fifth jetliner on Sept. 11, 2001. He has returned to claiming – as he had for four years before the trial testimony – that he had nothing to do with the suicide hijackings that took nearly 3,000 lives on Sept. 11, 2001….
On May 5, Moussaoui tried to withdraw his guilty plea and get a trial on the original charges. He argued that he hadn’t understood the American criminal justice system when he pleaded and only after receiving a life sentence did he realize an American jury could give him a fair trial and not automatically sentence him to death.
Brinkema denied that motion the same day, citing a federal rule that bars withdrawing guilty pleas after sentencing.