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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 June, 2005, 11:18 GMT 12:18 UK
Moroccan freed in 9/11 case home
Abdelghani Mzoudi
Abdelghani Mzoudi's 2003 trial in Hamburg collapsed
A Moroccan man cleared by the German courts of links to the 11 September hijackers has returned to Morocco.

Abdelghani Mzoudi, 32, was accused of belonging to the Hamburg cell of al-Qaeda which mounted the 2001 suicide attacks on New York and Washington.

On 9 June Germany's federal appeals court upheld Mr Mzoudi's acquittal, but the authorities decided to deport him.

He returned with a lawyer to Agadir on Tuesday, to avoid being forcibly deported within 48 hours.

He was acquitted in February 2004 of charges that he helped the 11 September hijackers.

Testimony at Mr Mzoudi's trial showed that he was a friend of lead hijacker Mohamed Atta and other members of the Hamburg cell.

Mr Mzoudi denied any knowledge of the plot, which resulted in the deaths of nearly 3,000 people.

But one of his lawyers, Gul Pinar, told AFP news agency it was likely that the Moroccan authorities would interrogate him. His legal team also fears that he might be handed over to the Americans.

Another Moroccan, Mounir al-Motassadek, was jailed in Germany in connection with the 9/11 attacks, but his conviction was later quashed and a fresh trial was ordered.

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