Giuliani Appears at Moussaoui Trial

Associated Press | Apr 06, 2006


Former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani appeared Thursday at the trial where a jury is considering whether admitted al-Qaida conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui should be put to death for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. 

Giuliani, expected to testify in the Moussaoui case, was seen in the hallway near the seventh floor courtroom where the jury also was to hear testimony from family members invited by federal prosecutors to tell stories of pain and suffering as a result of the largest terrorist attack ever on U.S. soil. 

Prosecutors received the judge's approval Wednesday to play cockpit voice recordings from United Flight 93, the plane that crashed into a western Pennsylvania field on Sept. 11, after passengers fought back against the hijackers. The tape has never been heard publicly. 

Many, but not all, of the victims' relatives are hoping this final phase of the trial will result in a death sentence for Moussaoui. 

"I want him to be put to death so that he can just be taken away from this world," Abraham Scott, whose wife Janice died in the attack on the Pentagon, told CBS' "The Early Show" on Thursday. 

"I really miss my wife," Scott said. 

But Alice Ann Hoagland of Mountain View, Calif., whose son Mark died on Flight 93, said she hopes Moussaoui will be spared to "demonstrate that we are a nation of mercy." 

"If he is executed he will be seen as a martyr in the eyes of his twisted fellows who compose al-Qaida," said Hoagland, also on CBS. "I don't want him to become a martyr." 

Relatives of the Flight 93 passengers were permitted to listen to the 30-minute cockpit recording in April 2002. At that time, the government had grief counselors on hand and warned the families that graphic details would be audible. 

While the recording will be played for the jury and the courtroom gallery, it is unclear whether it will be publicly released. Most court exhibits are being made available to the public, but U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema is giving Flight 93 family members until Tuesday to request that the recording not be distributed except as evidence in court. 

Moussaoui, 37, is the only person charged in this country in the Sept. 11 attacks. On Monday, the jury concluded that Moussaoui was directly responsible for at least one death on that day and is therefore eligible for execution. 

He was in a Minnesota jail on 9/11. Nevertheless, the jury concluded in the first phase of the trial that Moussaoui could have thwarted or at least minimized the attacks if he had confessed his al-Qaida membership and his plan to hijack aircraft when federal agents arrested him in August 2001 after his efforts to obtain flight training aroused suspicion. 

The second phase of the trial includes evidence on whether Moussaoui deserves to be executed. Prosecutors intend to present testimony from relatives of 9/11 victims on the personal toll exacted by the attacks. They have indicated they will have up to 45 victim-impact witnesses and they plan to identify each of the 2,972 people killed that day by name and photograph to the jury. 

The defense has indicated it will try to present evidence that Moussaoui, a Frenchman of Moroccan descent, suffered a difficult childhood, punctuated by racism. They also will seek to introduce evidence of mental illness. A defense expert has said Moussaoui probably suffers from schizophrenia. 

The jury will be asked to balance aggravating and mitigating factors in determining whether to sentence Moussaoui to death or life in prison.