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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 May 2006, 19:21 GMT 20:21 UK
Judge hits back in Moussaoui spat
Artist's impression of Moussaoui at sentencing hearing
The judge told Moussaoui he would never speak publicly again
Zacarias Moussaoui has been told by a judge he will "die with a whimper" in jail, after being sentenced to life for his role in the 11 September attacks.

In a final statement to the court in Virginia, the al-Qaeda plotter declared: "God curse America, God save Osama Bin Laden. You'll never get him."

Judge Leonie Brinkema told him he would "never get a chance to speak again and that's an appropriate ending".

Moussaoui, 37, will serve his sentence in a maximum security jail in Colorado.

On Wednesday, a jury decided Moussaoui - a French citizen of Moroccan descent - should not be executed.

'Soldiers of God'

As he was led into the courtroom in Alexandria, Virginia, Moussaoui, dressed in a green prisoner jumpsuit and white cap, raised two fingers in a 'V' for victory sign, and then sat, largely impassive.

Americans react to the decision not to execute 9/11 plotter Zacarias Moussaoui

Judge Brinkema said she found he had accepted no responsibility for his actions, nor shown remorse.

After he was formally sentenced to life in prison, with no chance of release, in accordance with the jury's verdict, Moussaoui was given the opportunity to speak.

Addressing the court, he said he had been branded a terrorist, but had "never attacked anyone".

"God curse America. God save Osama Bin Laden. You'll never get him," he said.

You will spend the rest of your life in a supermax prison - it's absolutely clear who won
Judge Leonie Brinkema

"I will be free and my liberation will be the proof that we are the soldiers of God and you are the army of Satan."

But the judge told Moussaoui: "When this proceeding is over, everyone else in this room will leave to see the sun... hear the birds... and they can associate with whomever they want.

"You will spend the rest of your life in a supermax prison. It's absolutely clear who won."

The judge told Moussaoui: "You came here to be a martyr in a great big bang of glory, but to paraphrase the poet TS Eliot, instead you will die with a whimper.

"You will never get a chance to speak again and that's an appropriate ending."

Judge Brinkema told Moussaoui he had the right to appeal the sentence, but added she believed it "would be an act of futility".

'I will be free'

Moussaoui betrayed no emotion as he was addressed by three family members of victims of the 11 September 2001 attacks, who were allowed to speak during the sentencing.

Abraham Scott, Rosemary Dillard (centre) and Lisa Dolan
Victims' relatives were allowed to address Moussaoui directly
"For you I feel nothing but disgust," said Rosemary Dillard, whose husband Eddie died when a hijacked aircraft slammed into the Pentagon.

"I hope you sit in that jail without seeing the sky, without seeing the sun... and that your name never comes up in the news again," she said.

Moussaoui responded: "She [Ms Dillard] said I destroyed a life and she lost a husband. Maybe one day she can think about how many people the CIA has destroyed."

The BBC's Adam Brookes, who was at the hearing, says this was Moussaoui's last chance to use his trial as a platform to sing the praises of al-Qaeda, as he has done throughout.

The right decision. To execute him would be to condone state sanctioned murder and only play into the hands of fanatics
Los Angeles

As he was led away, Moussaoui shouted: "I will be free. Before the end of George Bush I will get out."

Our correspondent says there is satisfaction here that someone has been held to account for the crime of 11 September.

But, he says it is tinged with unease - unease at the knowledge that Zacarias Moussaoui was only a minor player, while the true perpetrators - men like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed - remain locked in secret American prisons with no prospect of a public trial or, like Osama Bin Laden, they remain free.

French request?

The French foreign ministry said it might ask the US to allow Moussaoui to serve his sentence in France, following an appeal from Moussaoui's mother, Aicha el-Wafi.

US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said officials would examine any transfer request, AFP news agency said.

The prosecution had called for the death sentence, contending that "there is no place on this good Earth" for Moussaoui.

But defence lawyers successfully argued he should face life in prison, rather than martyrdom through execution.

Relatives of 9/11 victims and Moussaoui's mother speak


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