Al-Qaida conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui offered last month to testify for prosecutors against himself at his death-penalty trial and told agents that he did not want to die in prison, according to dramatic last-minute testimony Tuesday.And that's what he deserves: to die sitting on the toilet some two or three (or more) decades from now.
The bizarre testimony capped a trial that has seen more than its share of the unusual over three tumultuous weeks. Introduced as part of a brief government rebuttal case, this testimony may be the firmest evidence the 37-year-old Frenchman of Moroccan descent hopes for martyrdom through execution and could provide fodder for the closing arguments of both prosecutors and Moussaoui's court-appointed defense attorneys.
Moussaoui offered on Feb. 2, just before jury selection began, to testify that he was to have hijacked and piloted a fifth plane on Sept. 11, 2001. He did not ask that prosecutors stop pursuing the death penalty in return. He sought only better conditions in prison and a promise not to be called to testify against other al-Qaida members.
FBI agent James Fitzgerald said Moussaoui told him — in a jailhouse meeting the defendant requested — that he did not want to die behind bars and it was "different to die in a battle ... than in a jail on a toilet." Moussaoui dropped this bid after he learned that he had an absolute right to testify in his own defense.
Let him rot. The needle or the chair is too good for him.