Lawyer for Carlos the Jackal to represent Moussaoui
The lawyer and fiancee of the man known as Carlos the Jackal said today
that she will represent Zacarias Moussaoui, the French
citizen indicted for conspiracy in the Sept. 11 attacks.
Paris lawyer Isabelle Coutant-Peyre said she would defend Moussaoui's rights
as a French citizen, such as trying to protect him
from the possibility of the death penalty, which France opposes.
Moussaoui, a 33-year-old Frenchman of Moroccan descent now in U.S. custody,
was named Tuesday by a federal grand jury in
the first indictment directly linked to the suicide hijackings. He was charged with six felonies, including four that carry the death
``I am a French lawyer, he is French. So I am going to do everything in
my power to ensure his rights as a French citizen,'' Coutant-Peyre
said in a telephone interview. Moussaoui already has a lawyer in the United States.
Coutant-Peyre said Moussaoui's mother, Aicha, asked her to represent her son.
Two months ago, Coutant-Peyre said she would marry Ilich Ramirez Sanchez,
who is serving a life sentence in France for the 1975
murders of two French secret agents and an alleged informer. The Venezuelan-born Ramirez, who was arrested in Sudan in 1994, is
also under investigation for three terrorist attacks in the 1980s.
A Muslim convert, Ramirez recently told the France Soir newspaper that
he felt ``relief'' at the Sept. 11 attacks. In 1998, Ramirez
told France Soir that he wished good luck to Osama bin Laden, who had been indicted for the embassy bombings in Kenya and
Coutant-Peyre said she hoped Moussaoui will be brought back to France.
She said she has not yet spoken with Moussaoui, nor
does she know where he is being held.
Coutant-Peyre suggested Moussaoui has been made a scapegoat.
``There is, in the end, a big manipulation to designate him as one of those
responsible for what happened on Sept. 11,'' she said.
``It is normal, of course, that the American authorities are charged with looking for those responsible for what happened - but not
to find a public scapegoat.''
The French government said yesterday that it would object to the death
penalty for Moussaoui, and Justice Minister Marylise
Lebranchu said France would provide him consular protection - meaning it would work to assure he has a fair trial according to
Copyright 2001 Associated Press.