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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 April 2006, 13:59 GMT 14:59 UK
9/11 relatives back death penalty
Zacarias Moussaoui
Moussaoui says he had trained to fly a plane into the White House
British relatives of victims of the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks have welcomed a US jury's decision that a confessed plotter could be executed.

Zacarias Moussaoui says he lied to stop officials uncovering the 9/11 plot.

"The death penalty would be OK by me," said Patricia Bingley, whose son Kevin Dennis died in the New York attacks.

Charles Berkeley, whose son Graham was on one of the planes flown into the World Trade Center, said Moussaoui "deserves everything he gets".

"The man was evil, the organisation he represented was evil," said Mr Berkeley.

The self-confessed member of al-Qaeda has denied direct involvement in the attacks that took place on 11 September 2001, saying he had been training to attack the White House in a fifth hijacked plane that day.

He was arrested shortly before 11 September and has said he lied to US officials to stop them uncovering the plot.

My body just goes cold remembering 9/11 and I cannot recover from that
Betty Hilton, mother-in-law of victim
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Moussaoui, who has pleaded guilty to six counts of conspiracy to attack the US.

"Why should he not die?" said Betty Hilton, whose son-in-law Robin Larkie was killed in the attacks on the World Trade Center.

"I think it's good. If any of them are caught they should be executed... I feel no compassion for him, I feel no forgiveness.

"My body just goes cold remembering 9/11 and I cannot recover from that."

Martyr?

Ms Bingley, of Clacton, Essex, said: "The death penalty would be OK by me but if he gets life, then in the US it would be life and it would be a terrible life and I do not care about that either."

Mr Berkeley, of Shrewsbury, Shropshire, expressed concern that a death sentence could make a martyr of Moussaoui.

"It would have been better to keep him in prison for the rest of his life," Mr Berkeley said.

"I think if they give him that [death] sentence, he has achieved what he is after. It would be more of a punishment to keep him in jail."

A jury in Alexandria, Virginia, on Monday decided Moussaoui was eligible for the death penalty because his actions led directly to at least one death.

The sentencing trial now enters a second phase - expected to take several months - after which the jury must consider whether the 37-year-old Frenchman, of Moroccan descent, will be put to death.



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