ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The judge in Zacarias Moussaoui’s trial finally silenced him Thursday with a promise that he’ll “die with a whimper” in solitary confinement.
U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema drowned out one of Moussaoui’s final outbursts by telling him, “You will never again get a chance to speak, and that is an appropriate and fair ending.
“You came here to be a martyr and to die in a great big bang of glory. But to paraphrase the poet T.S. Eliot, instead, you will die with a whimper,” Brinkema said.
Before the life sentence was imposed on Moussaoui, he grinned broadly and flashed the victory sign to onlookers.
But Sept. 11 widow Rosemary Dillard wiped that look off his face.
She shot straight up from a courtroom bench reserved for victims’ families when Brinkema asked whether any of them would like to address the court.
Turning toward the defendant, she let the 37-year-old Frenchman have it.
“I want you, Mr. Moussaoui, to know how you wrecked my life. You took the most important person in my life from me,” bellowed Dillard, referring to her husband, Eddie, who “should still be alive.”
“And though we sit here and we watch you twiddle at your beard, make faces and feel no remorse, I hope you sit in that jail without seeing the sky, without seeing the sun, without any contact with the world,” she said.
Widower Abraham Scott added that one day al-Qaida leader Osama Bin Laden will face justice but won’t escape a grim death.
“He will be here, trust me,” Scott assured Moussaoui.
Moussaoui attempted another of his screeds from the witness stand. Addressing Dillard directly, he sneered, “You have an amount of hypocrisy which is beyond any belief. Your humanity is a very selective humanity: Only you suffer, only you feel.”
But prosecutor Rob Spencer objected to the “political speech” and Brinkema ordered Moussaoui to be quiet.
“I have nothing more to say because you don’t want to hear the truth,” Moussaoui complained. “We will come back another day.”
“God curse America and save Osama bin Laden. You’ll never get him,” the terrorist vowed.
Brinkema told him he was wrong that America had “lost” by failing to persuade a jury to execute him.
“That was my choice!” he shouted back.
“It was hardly your choice,” she snapped, and abruptly adjourned the trial.
As he left the courtroom, Moussaoui said he was a “soldier of God” and promised again that before President Bush leaves office, “I will be out.”
“In your dreams,” said Sept. 11 widow Lisa Beilke.
(c) 2006, New York Daily News.
Visit the Daily News online at http://www.nydailynews.com/
Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services.
ARCHIVE PHOTOS on KRT Direct (from KRT Photo Service, 202-383-6099): MOUSSAOUI
GRAPHIC (from KRT Graphics, 202-383-6064): 20060503 TERROR cases
NEWSCOM PHOTOS can be viewed at http://www.newscom.com/nc/visuals.html (Username: fpnews and Password: viewnc05 allow editors to view photos.) To purchase photos or to get your own NewsCom username and password, U.S. and Canadian newspapers, please call Tribune Media (800) 637-4082 or (312) 222-2448 or email to tmssalestribune.com. Others contact NewsCom at (202) 383-6070 or email supportnewscom.com. Use search terms: “MOUSSAOUI”
ARCHIVE GRAPHICS on KRT Direct (from KRT Graphics, 202-383-6064): MOUSSAOUI