A court in Germany will today pass sentence on a Moroccan friend of the September 11 hijackers. Mounir el Motassadeq faces a maximum 15 years in jail for abetting mass murder. The 32-year-old was a member of a group of radical students in Hamburg which organised the plot which claimed almost 3,000 lives. The sentencing should bring to a close a lengthy legal battle that strained relations between Berlin and Washington.
In November last year, Germany’s top appeals court confirmed Motassadeq’s conviction – overturning an earlier verdict that found him guilty only of belonging to a terrorist organisation. He is the second person to be convicted in connection with 9/11. Frenchman Zacarias Moussaoui is serving a life sentence in the US for his role.