Zacarias Moussaoui, the only person convicted in the US over September 11, is beginning his life sentence in prison today, after a jury spared him the death penalty for his role in the hijacking plot.“America you lost! I won!” Moussaoui shouted as he left the courtrooom, not far from the Pentagon, the site of one of the attacks. Victims’ families gave their reactions.Abraham Scott lost his wife. He revealed what he told her, after the verdict was announced. “I just said ‘baby, at least one perpetrator has been brought to justice.’” Carie Lemarque’s mother was killed in the Sept 11 attacks. She said the sentence was the best way to get Moussaoui out of the headlines and into a high security prison for life. “He is going to be in jail for the rest of his life which is exactly what this man deserves,” she said.
“He is an al-Qaeda wannabe and he does not deserve any credit for 9/11 because he was not part of it and I am so glad the jury recognised that and realized that he just wanted to kill Americans but he was not even skilled enough to be able to do that.”The Frenchman of Moroccan origin admitted conspiracy. But the jury did not unanimously find that US government prosecutors proved beyond reasonable doubt that his actions resulted in the deaths of some 3,000 people.
In Paris, the verdict was welcomed by Patrick Baudouin, a lawyer representing Moussaoui’s mother. “I think the jury, to their credit, resisted this pressure and I am glad that a punishment as barbaric as the death penalty – unacceptable in any circumstances – has not been pronounced against Zacarias Moussaoui,” he said. “That avoids adding barbarity to barbarity.”