This was truly frustrating to read.
(CBS/AP) A German court on Monday handed the maximum sentence of 15 years in prison to a Moroccan convicted of being an accessory to murder for aiding the Sept. 11 attackers.
A federal appeals court had convicted Mounir el Motassadeq, a friend of three of the suicide pilots, of the charge in November and sent the case to a state court in Hamburg for sentencing.
Just before Monday’s verdict, the 32-year-old defendant exchanged charged words with an American co-plaintiff whose mother died on board one of the planes that crashed into the World Trade Center.
Dominic Puopolo Jr. earlier joined prosecutors in calling for the maximum penalty, urging the judges to consider the “human and emotional cost” of the 2001 attacks.
El Motassadeq, a slight bearded man, turned to Puopolo to say, “I understand your suffering. … The same thing is being done to me, my kids, my parents, my family — my future is ruined.”
Puopolo, granted permission to respond, said he forgave el Motassadeq, and reminded him that he will one day be freed.
“You have a chance to rebuild your life and be back with your family. Others don’t,” Puopolo said. “Your life is not over, but my mom’s is.”
I’ve written about forgiveness from a Christian viewpoint several times. It’s necessary – for the person doing the forgiving. And even when the person is not repentant, we still have to forgive them, again, for our own sakes. (And just to recap – forgiveness does not require a continuing relationship.) Puopolo said on Larry King Live that it is his faith that is getting him through this. So I’m glad – whatever faith Puopolo adheres to – that he has been able to forgive his mother’s killers. But for the defendant complain that his future is ruined is outrageous. And a lousy fifteen years!?
Puopolo contributed to achieving even this small victory by quitting his job and moving to Hamburg – and German law is so terrorist-friendly that it is a victory, in context – remember, this was the maximum sentence. But it’s still disgusting to think this scum will walk free in fifteen years.
Dominic J. Puopolo Jr., a Miami Beach computer consultant whose mother was killed in the attacks, said it has been an uphill battle for the prosecution ever since. “Everybody was saying this case was lost from day one,” said Puopolo, who moved to Hamburg in August to keep tabs on the proceedings. “There was a heavy sense of that in the courtroom.” Puopolo attends the Motassadeq retrial each day and is allowed to question witnesses under a German law that gives the relatives of victims the right to assist in the prosecution. He said he planned to come to Hamburg only for the opening of the case, but decided to remain for the duration out of respect for his mother, Sonia Morales Puopolo, a passenger on the doomed American Airlines Flight 11 that took off from Boston. Puopolo said U.S. investigators have played cockpit recordings for family members of the victims that make clear his mother was tortured by the hijackers before the jet crashed into the World Trade Center. Such knowledge, he said, makes it especially difficult for him to watch Motassadeq move freely through the courthouse and realize that there is a possibility no one in Hamburg will be held accountable.
Two hits from foreign courts in one day, where the war on terror is concerned; first Pakistan, now Germany. Obviously they can’t change their laws and apply them retroactively, but the fact is that they have not changed the laws, so that future terrorists will receive the same lenient treatment. It’s not just America who is not taking this problem seriously.
Trackposted to Perri Nelson’s Website, Is It Just Me?, Mark My Words, The Random Yak, Don Surber, DragonLady’s World, Mensa Barbie Welcomes You, Conservative Cat, The Backping Blog, Rightwing Guy, Wake Up America, Faultline USA, stikNstein… has no mercy, Pirate’s Cove, Dumb Ox News, High Desert Wanderer, and Right Voices, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.