Brandon Sun (Newspaper) - June 26, 2002, Brandon, Manitoba
Moussaoui wont play along with American trial
By David Pace
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A federal judge refused yesterday to change the site of Zacarias Moussaoui’s trial and entered a plea of not guilty on his behalf during a volatile hearing for the only man charged in connection with the Sept. 11 attacks.
Throughout his arraignment a short distance from the Pentagon, Moussaoui
clashed with U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema over his legal rights.
“I have no plea. I will plead no contest. I have nothing to say to the United States. That’s all,” he declared.
Brinkema interrupted Moussaoui, who was flanked by U.S. marshals as he stood before the judge, and told him a plea of no contest — nolo contendere — “may result in an almost certain finding of guilt.” She told Moussaoui his position was inconsistent with his previous
requests, and at one point said, “You don’t control the courtroom. I do.”
Federal law gives a judge discretion to reject a plea of guilty or nolo contendere, and enter a not guilty plea for a defendant when the judge believes the plea is not knowingly and voluntarily given.
Brinkema instructed court-appointed attorney Alan Yamamoto to write Moussaoui a letter explaining the consequences of a no-contest plea. Toward
the end of the arraignment, Brinkema told him, “Mr. Moussaoui, you are not an attorney. You do not understand the nuances of the legal system.”
After Moussaoui repeatedly tried to enter a no-contest plea, a clearly exasperated Brinkema said, “It strikes this court that you are the only one other than the prosecution who is really trying to convict you. I do not accept this plea of not guilty.”
The 34-year-old Moussaoui, who is
of Moroccan descent, is charged with conspinng to help the 19 hijackers and Osama bin Laden’s terrorist network plot the September attacks. He faces six conspiracy charges, including four that carry the death penalty.
Moussaoui accused the judge of interfering with his defence by refiling to let a Muslim lawyer, Charles Freeman, represent him, and by not letting him make phone calls from jail.
Hospital releases cop after shooting
HALIFAX — A Halifax police officer shot in the line of duty on the weekend was released from hospital yesterday.
Const. Susan Foster, 35, was wounded when a bullet pierced the passenger door of her police cruiser after she and her partner made an arrest in Uniacke Square, a neighbourhood in Halifax’s north end, early Sunday morning.
The bullet went through her right thigh, then pierced her left hand, which was resting on her left thigh.
Her partner, Const. Dwayne Hodgson, 34v was injured by flying debris. He was treated and released from hospital.
When Hodgson first heard the shot, he thought it was a firecracker going off, police spokeswoman Judy Pal said.Wallin takes
over as N.Y. consul general
OTTAWA — Veteran journalist and broadcaster Pamela Wallin is leaving the work that has defined her for 25 years to pursue an offer she couldn’t resist.
“When the prime minister phones and says: ‘Do you want to serve your country?’ — and do this in New York City — I can’t imagine there being any other answer but yes,” Wallin said yesterday from Toronto. “This is just such a wonderful opportunity. I can’t believe how fortunate I am.”
Prime Minister Jean Chretien had just announced Wallin’s appointment, effective immediately, as Canada’s consul general to the Big Apple.
The job pays between $133,600 and $157,200 Cdn and involves building trade, financial, arts and cultural ties between the United States and Canada. The coveted diplomatic post also includes a social budget for entertaining movers and shakers.
New Yorkers pay little mind to Canada despite their close proximity, Chretien said during a news conference at Kananaskis, Alta., where he’s hosting world leaders at the G-8 summit.
“Pamela will make sure they pay attention.”
Wallin also hopes to be a connection to home for an estimated 200,000 Canadians living in New York City. She declined to elaborate on more precise goals until after she’s fully briefed.
Accepting the government appointment means leaving a storied journalistic career.
“This is a full-time job, and so I’m going to have to be severing my ties. And it’s very sad. This is a world to which I’ve dedicated the last 25 years of my life.”
Wallin heads her own independent company, Pamela Wallin Productions Inc., through which she produces and hosts Pamela Wallin’s Talk TV for CTV.
Her tribute show last fall, Canada Loves New York, was a hit.
Wallin expects to be in New York for up to four years, but will return home to stay, she said.
“Canada is always home.”
“Then Dwayne realized, when (Foster) said, ‘I’ve been hit, I’ve been hit,’ ” Pal said.
Hodgson turned on his roof lights and sped to hospital, while other officers looked for the shooter.
Draper Donald Grouse, 18, was arrested 2 I /2 hours after the shooting.
He was charged with two counts of attempted murder, two counts of pointing a firearm in the commission of an offence and five other weapons-related charges.
He has been remanded to await a July 3 bail hearing.
Police are unsure how long Foster will be off work. The main focus of the investigation now is finding the rifle.
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