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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 April 2006, 20:34 GMT 21:34 UK
Ill Moussaoui juror forces recess
Artist illustration of Zacarias Moussaoui (left) and defence witness Dr Paul Martin
Moussaoui has said he wished it was 11 September every day
Jurors in the trial of al-Qaeda plotter Zacarias Moussaoui were sent home on Thursday after one member fell ill.

The jury has been out since Monday and must decide whether Moussaoui should be executed or jailed for life.

The prosecution has called for the death sentence, but defence lawyers say he should not be granted martyrdom through execution.

Court officials said the ill juror was feeling better, and deliberations on the verdict would resume on Friday.

Moussaoui is the only man prosecuted in the US over the 11 September attacks.

The prosecution has said that "there is no place on this good Earth" for him.

Judge Leonie Brinkema will be bound to hand down the sentence the jury chooses.

Pain and emotion

As he left the Virginia courtroom on Monday, Moussaoui turned to the public gallery, raised his hands in the air and clapped loudly.

CHARGES AGAINST MOUSSAOUI
Conspiracy to commit acts of terrorism
Conspiracy to destroy aircraft
Conspiracy to use weapons of mass destructions

Moussaoui's mother arrived in the US on Wednesday from her home in France for the verdict.

"She is dreading what is about to happen, but whatever the decision is she wants to be there, at her son's side, to hear it," her lawyer Patrick Baudoin told AFP news agency.

Defence lawyers, with whom Moussaoui refused to co-operate, have tried to avoid the death penalty by portraying the 37-year-old Frenchman of Moroccan descent as mentally ill.

Zacarias Moussaoui's mother Aicha El Wafi arriving at Washington's Dulles Airport
Aicha El Wafi said she wanted to be at her son's side

Prosecutors say Moussaoui withheld information that could have helped prevent the 2001 attacks, in which about 3,000 people died.

Although Moussaoui was in jail at the time of the attacks, on immigration charges, prosecutors say he told lies to allow the plot to continue.

Prosecution evidence included a man talking on his mobile phone as the towers of the World Trade Center collapsed and the cockpit tape of the plane that crashed into a Pennsylvania field.

The defendant rejoices in all that pain - he told you that himself
David Raskin
Prosecutor
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In his summing up, defence lawyer Gerald Zerkin said Moussaoui's contempt for the victims and the trial "is proof that he wants you to sentence him to death".

Mr Zerkin said the jury could instead "confine him to a miserable existence until he dies and give him not the death of a jihadist... but the long slow death of a common criminal".

Moussaoui said he had "no regret, no remorse" and wished it could be 11 September every day.

Moussaoui was arrested in August 2001 at a flight simulator school in Minnesota.


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
Hear what prosecutors said in the trial



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