Moussaoui prosecutor: Pointless to go on

March 15, 2006 at 1:44 PM
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ALEXANDRIA, Va., March 15 (UPI) -- A U.S. prosecutor said Wednesday there is little point in continuing a sentencing hearing for terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui now that key evidence is banned.

In a conference call, Assistant U.S. attorney Robert Spencer told U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema her decision to exclude the evidence left him feeling there was "no point" in continuing the Alexandria, Va., hearing.

Brinkema issued her ruling Tuesday based on the conduct of Carla Martin, a Transportation Security Administration lawyer who violated Brinkema's orders and improperly shared testimony and communicated with seven witnesses.

While the prosecution is considering an appeal of Brinkema's decision, it was not immediately clear whether such an appeal could be filed while the trial is under way, the Washington Post reported. Tuesday night, prosecutors obtained a postponement of the trial until Monday so they could decide whether to appeal

Moussaoui, 37, pleaded guilty and was convicted of conspiring with al-Qaida in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and prosecutors are seeking the death penalty at a sentencing trial that began last week. The other sentencing option is life in prison.

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