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Moussaoui appeals rulings on psychiatric exam and legal representation

Zacarias Moussaoui  

From Terry Frieden

RICHMOND, Virginia (CNN) -- The accused terrorist charged with conspiracy in the September 11 attacks has appealed three court orders in his continuing effort to represent himself at his trial, court officials said Tuesday.

Zacharias Moussaoui has appealed one lower court order requiring him to take a psychiatric examination, and a second order, issued last December, that appointed defense attorneys to represent him.

The third order by U.S. District Court Judge Leonie Brinkema was entered under seal last month and remains secret.

The Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond said the appeals were received and placed on the docket last Friday. Because they were entered under seal there is no specific information available on what the appeals say.

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Circuit Court officials said no schedule is set to consider the appeals.

The only public documents are those that indicate which orders are being appealed. The April 22 order requires Moussaoui to undergo a mental health evaluation before Brinkema decides whether he is capable of representing himself on charges that carry a possible death penalty.

Moussaoui has told Brinkema he wants the defense team led by public defender Frank Dunham and private attorney Edward MacMahon to be fired. Moussaoui, a French citizen, told Brinkema if he did not have a Muslim attorney he wanted to represent himself.

Moussaoui, 33, of France, is charged with terrorism conspiracy under a six-count indictment for allegedly planning to participate in the deadly hijacking of four U.S. commercial jets, which crashed into New York's World Trade Center, the Pentagon and Pennsylvania. His trial is scheduled to begin in September.

Prosecutors, who are seeking the death penalty, allege that Moussaoui underwent similar flight training in the United States and weapons training in Afghanistan as the 19 hijackers aboard the fatal flights.

Moussaoui was in a Minnesota jail on an immigration violation a month before the attacks.




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