Federal judge moves trial of alleged terrorist from Seattle to Los Angeles

Posted: Friday, March 03, 2000

SEATTLE - A federal judge today ordered the trial of Ahmed Ressam, the Algerian facing charges of conspiracy and illegally bring explosive materials into the country from Canada, moved from Seattle to Los Angeles, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Harold Malkin, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office, said the trial was scheduled to begin July 10 in Los Angeles.

Attorneys for Ressam, 32, asked Judge John Coughenour in January to move the trial out of Seattle, citing ``pervasive and ongoing'' publicity they said would make a fair trial here impossible.

Prosecutors had argued that none of the news coverage of Ressam had reported pejoratively about his background.

Ressam is accused of plotting a terrorist act against an unspecified target. He also faces eight counts of bomb smuggling, possession of an explosive and making false statements.

He was arrested Dec. 14 after he arrived in Port Angeles on a ferry from Victoria, British Columbia, driving a rented car containing explosives and timing devices. Several other people have been arrested in the case.

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