- The Washington Times - Monday, January 13, 2003

WASHINGTON, Jan. 13 (UPI) — The Supreme Court Monday refused to grant pauper status to Zacarias Moussaoui, the only living person charged in the conspiracy leading up to the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

In a one-sentence order, the court indicated that Moussaoui must first file an "affidavit of indigency" — a sworn statement that he is broke.

Moussaoui, a French national of Moroccan heritage, was arrested on immigration charges the month before the attacks occurred. He had been training at a Minnesota flight school.

He is being held without bond pending a trial in Alexandria, Va.

Prosecutors have sometimes referred to him as the "20th hijacker," referring to the 19 hijackers who allegedly commandeered airliners and forced them into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. A fourth hijacked airliner crashed in rural Pennsylvania, apparently after passengers tried to retake control of the craft.

Monday's action in the Supreme Court was purely a housekeeping matter. It means Moussaoui cannot get a court-appointed lawyer for actions before the Supreme Court, or file typewritten briefs instead of the more expensive printed briefs, until he fills out a form and swears that he is truly poor.

The quixotic Moussaoui unsuccessfully asked for a televised trial — the federal judiciary discourages televised trials as a matter of policy — and has filed a number of motions himself.

Moussaoui has also asked for permission to defend himself without the help of an attorney.


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