Moussaoui retracts confession, asks for retrial

Convicted September 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui says he lied on the witness stand about being involved in the terrorist plot and wants to withdraw his guilty plea and go to trial. The judge turned him down. US District Judge Leonie Brinkema denied Moussaoui's request Monday afternoon, saying the motion was "too late" under federal rules. In a motion filed Monday, Moussaoui said he testified on March 27 that he was supposed to hijack a fifth plane on September 11, 2001, and fly it into the White House "even though I knew that was a complete fabrication." A federal court jury spared the 37-year-old Frenchman the death penalty last Wednesday. On Thursday, Brinkema gave him six life sentences, to run as two consecutive life terms, in the federal supermax prison at Florence, Colorado. Moussaoui said he was "extremely surprised" that he was sentenced to life in prison instead of execution and now believes he can get a fair trial from an American jury.