ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) -- Zacarias Moussaoui invoked the name of Allah and declared to a court Wednesday "I do not have anything to plead." A judge entered an innocent plea to charges he conspired to murder thousands on Sept. 11.
Wearing a dark green jumpsuit with the word "prisoner" on the back, the bearded, balding Moussaoui appeared for arraignment in a courthouse a few miles from where a jetliner crashed into the Pentagon nearly four months ago.
"In the name of Allah, I do not have anything to plead. I enter no plea. Thank you very much," Moussaoui told U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema after walking to the courtroom lectern.
Brinkema said she took that to mean he was pleading innocent to the charges. Moussaoui remained silent, but one of his lawyers, Frank Dunham, answered, "Yes." The judge entered the innocent plea into the court record.
Moussaoui's lawyers had predicted their client would plead innocent. Moussaoui, a French citizen of Moroccan descent, is the first person directly charged in the Sept. 11 attacks. He faces six conspiracy charges, including four that could result in the death penalty.
Brinkema set a trial date of Oct. 14, with jury selection to begin Sept. 30. She rejected defense arguments that the date would be too close to the one-year anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks and the vast amount of publicity that could be expected at that time.
Although Moussaoui has been in federal custody on immigration charges since August, when he aroused suspicions at a Minnesota flight school, the indictment says he conspired with the Sept. 11 hijackers to kill and maim victims in the United States.
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