WASHINGTON – Zacarias Moussaoui (search) will face the penalty phase of his terrorism case starting next Jan. 9 when jury selection will begin, a federal judge decided Friday, approving a schedule proposed this week by prosecutors and Moussaoui's lawyers.
U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema also approved Feb. 6 as the starting date for testimony in the trial which will determine whether the admitted terrorist lives or dies.
Moussaoui pleaded guilty April 22 to six counts of conspiring with the hijackers in the Sept. 11 plot.
He maintains his actual mission involved a separate attack, flying an airliner into the White House if the government refused to free Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman (search), imprisoned in the United States for the last dozen years for conspiring to blow up New York City (search) landmarks.
Brinkema and the lawyers must work through an array of issues before trial, including assembling written summaries of classified national security information that the two sides want to use in the case.
Moussaoui wants to use summaries from several Al Qaeda (search) operatives, including Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who denies ever considering Moussaoui for the planes operation, according to the commission that investigated the attacks. Mohammed says Moussaoui was slated to participate in a second wave of attacks, the report says.