Government Says It Has Not Seized Moussaoui's Letters

The government said Wednesday that with one exception, it has not seized or changed letters that accused Sept. 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui wrote to Congress, European governments and international tribunals.

Moussaoui had complained that the FBI intercepted his letters and U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema had asked for an accounting of the government's actions.

Prosecutors said the FBI has approved seven of the letters without changes, and no deletions are anticipated for an eighth letter.

The FBI removed 15 lines from a ninth letter to the British House of Commons, to prevent any violence against two individuals identified by Moussaoui. Brinkema ordered that the approved letters should be turned over to Moussaoui's court-appointed lawyers and forwarded to the intended recipients.

In a separate motion, court-appointed lawyers asked the judge to allow defense mental health experts to visit Moussaoui even though he refuses to speak with them.

The defense experts have said it was likely that Moussaoui is mentally ill, although Brinkema a month ago ruled he was competent to represent himself. She has since ordered a reevaluation.

"Access to Mr. Moussaoui ... will further assist in the continuing evaluation of his competence to proceed," said a motion by the lawyers, who were asked by the judge to remain as standby attorneys.

The motion said one defense lawyer tried to speak with Moussaoui but the defendant instead read aloud from the Quran.

"With cell-side access, counsel can observe Mr. Moussaoui through the food slot and talk with him," the motion said.