In the United States a trial has official begun to decide whether the only person convicted over the September eleventh attacks will face the death penalty. Zacarias Moussaoui, 37, pleaded guilty in April to conspiring with al-Qaeda to hijack planes.
It has taken a month for Judge Leonie Brinkema to find an unbiased panel of 12 jurors and six alternates. The trial will have two stages and, for the first time in court, the government is expected to detail exactly what it knew and didn’t know before the attacks that killed nearly three thousand people. Moussaoui was arrested in August 2001 after raising suspicions at a flight school. Federal prosecutors will try to prove his lied to the FBI shortly after he was picked up over his knowledge of the Sept 11 plot. If the jury finds that Moussaoui lied, resulting in the death of at least person on Sept 11, then another trial phase will consider imposing the death penalty. It is unclear whether Moussaoui, who has often been outspoken in court, will testify during the proceedings or even be allowed to stay in the courtroom.