Moussaoui Asks to Withdraw Guilty Plea

Zacarias Moussaoui now says he was lying when he confessed to being the fifth hijacker from 9/11.

Convicted Sept. 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui says he lied on the witness stand about being involved in the plot and wants to withdraw his guilty plea because he now believes he can get a fair trial. In a motion filed Friday but released Monday, Moussaoui said he testified March 27 he was supposed to hijack a fifth plane on Sept. 11, 2001, and fly it into the White House “even though I knew that was a complete fabrication.”


At sentencing, she told Moussaoui: “You do not have a right to appeal your convictions, as was explained to you when you plead guilty” in April 2005. “You waived that right.” She said he could appeal his sentence but added, “I believe it would be an act of futility.”

Moussaoui’s court-appointed lawyers told the court they filed the motion even though a federal rule “prohibits a defendant from withdrawing a guilty plea after imposition of sentence.” They did so anyway because of their “problematic relationship with Moussaoui” and the fact that new lawyers have yet to be appointed to replace them.

Quite bizarre.

FILED UNDER: Uncategorized, ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. lily says:

    He’s an attention-seeker. Anything to keep the drama going.

  2. legion says:

    Maybe he’s gonna go for the insanity defense on appeal. What, you can’t plead insanity during sentencing? Oops…

  3. As I said on my blog, it’s because he thought we would kill him and he would be a martyr. Because we’re not going to kill him, he’s rethinking but too late for that.

  4. Dave Schuler says:

    I agree with lily: he’s trying to keep the ball up in the air.

  5. McCain says:

    Fancy that, an Al Qaeda terrorist operative who actually lies. What is the world coming to?

  6. Maggie says:

    According to French websites his game plan is to get transferred to France for his life in prison sentence on humane grounds … so his Mama can visit.

    French judges have apparently been known to let the lifers out before they DIE IN PRISON!

    We are now entering Ring 2 of what may turn out to be more than a 3-Ring Circus.

  7. floyd says:

    tell him to shut-up and eat his bacon sandwich with pork rinds.pork roast with gravy for tommorrow!

  8. shipmate says:

    Hmmm, no one has mentioned this yet: since he’s admitting to lying in his testimony, why not add perjury charges?

  9. legion says:

    If he wasn’t already going up for consecutive life sentences, I’d agree – but right now that would just be a wast of taxpayer money. So would letting his motion get past a summary dismissal on procedural grounds. Put this pathetic joke into a hole in the ground so he can be forgotten, as he so richly deserves.