ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Zacarias Moussaoui was called back to federal court to answer a slightly revised indictment charging him with conspiring to murder thousands on Sept. 11.
The government filed the new indictment last week, offering no explanation for the mostly minor revisions. In one substantive change, prosecutors deleted allegations that Moussaoui had inquired about crop-dusting planes and had information about them in his computer.
Moussaoui refused "in the name of Allah" to enter a plea when he was arraigned on the original indictment in January. U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema entered a plea of innocent in his behalf.
A French citizen of Moroccan descent, the 34-year-old Moussaoui is charged with conspiring to help the 19 hijackers and Osama bin Laden's terrorist network plot the September attacks on New York and Washington. He faces six conspiracy charges, including four that carry the death penalty.
Moussaoui unsuccessfully sought permission Monday to have a Muslim lawyer from Houston, Charles Freeman, help him question a government witness and advise him during Tuesday's arraignment.
Brinkema granted Moussaoui's request earlier this month to act as his own lawyer. But she refused to allow Freeman to participate in the case because he is not registered to practice law in Virginia and has not formally asked to enter the case as Moussaoui's attorney.
On Monday, Moussaoui questioned a witness, who was not identified in court papers. Prosecutors said the questions were limited to "the formation of the Hamburg cell in Germany," and Brinkema noted in her order that the witness had entered into a plea agreement with the government.
Those clues suggests the witness was Angus Budiman, an Indonesia native who knew several of the hijackers in Hamburg and who pleaded guilty to one count of document fraud in March.
Budiman admitted to authorities that he knew hijacker Mohammed Atta from a mosque they attended in Hamburg and that he once helped Atta move into an apartment there in 1998. Another one of the Sept. 11 hijackers, Ziad Jarrah, listed Budiman's address on his visa application to enter the United States.
Attorney General John Ashcroft has said that Atta, Jarrah and another of the hijacker leaders, Marwan Al-Shehhi, were part of a terrorist cell in Hamburg. The indictment against Moussaoui alleges that another member of that cell, Ramzi Bin al-Shibh, wired $14,000 to Moussaoui last August.
Frank Dunham Jr., the federal public defender appointed to represent Moussaoui, said Freeman has met with Moussaoui several times since May 24. He said Freeman wrote him a letter offering his assistance in defending Moussaoui.
The letter arrived in April, shortly after Moussaoui denounced his court-appointed lawyers as part of a conspiracy to kill him, Dunham said. He added Freeman's name to the list of people allowed to visit Moussaoui in jail, Dunham said, after Freeman was cleared by the government.
In a separate filing Monday, prosecutors urged Brinkema to deny Moussaoui's request to move his trial to Denver. They said the court should not presume that potential jurors in northern Virginia near the Pentagon would be prejudiced.
The government also asked Monday that it be permitted to withhold addresses of government witnesses and potential jurors. Under federal law, people charged with treason or other capital offenses must be given a list of witnesses and prospective jurors and their addresses at least three days before the trial.
Prosecutors argued that providing such information to Moussaoui would endanger the witnesses and jurors. They cited the indictment as well as Moussaoui's own words, including his declaration in court that he was praying for the destruction of the United States.