Shackled Moussaoui appears in US court

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The Independent US

Zacarias Moussaoui, the only person indicted so far for alleged involvement in the 11 September attacks, made his first court appearance in Manhattan yesterday, and was transferred to Virginia for trial.

Shackled and handcuffed, the French citizen of Moroccan descent was denied bail by the Federal district judge, Barbara Jones. "There are no conditions or combination of conditions that would safeguard the community," she said of the 33-year old accused of conspiring to cause the suicide hijackings that killed nearly 3,300 people.

But Donald DuBoulay, Mr Moussaoui's court-appointed lawyer, challenged several issues, including his client's identification. Mr Moussaoui faces six conspiracy charges, four of which carry the death penalty, but Mr DuBoulay vowed to fight. "I'm not going to roll over for them when they are trying to kill a man," he said after the brief hearing in the Manhattan District courthouse.

Mr Moussaoui was first arrested in Minnesota on 16 August for immigration violations after he aroused suspicion by trying to buy time on a jumbo jet flight simulator at a flying school and saying he was not interested in taking off or landing.

After 11 September, he was held as a material witness and sent to New York for questioning. On Tuesday, he was indicted for allegedly conspiring with the Saudi-born fugitive Osama bin Laden, the 19 hijackers and others to murder thousands of people.

But his French lawyer said yesterday he must be returned to France for trial because conviction in a US court could bring a death sentence.