ALEXANDRIA, Va., AP -Zacarias Moussaoui is convinced President Bush will free him from prison and sometimes talks to himself in his jail cell, according to testimony at the death-penalty trial for the Sept. 11 conspirator.
The battle over Moussaoui’s mental health has begun in earnest. A defense psychologist, Xavier Amador, testified Monday that Moussaoui is a paranoid schizophrenic who suffers from delusions. Amador’s testimony continues Tuesday when the trial resumes.
Government experts have reached an opposite conclusion and are expected to testify later this week in rebuttal.
While prosecutors’ experts have been able to examine Moussaoui, he refused to cooperate with Amador or any other defense expert.
Amador based his diagnosis largely on conclusions of other mental-health professionals and an analysis of Moussaoui’s actions and writings, including numerous rambling, often insulting, legal motions he filed during an 18-month period in which he represented himself.
Moussaoui’s defense lawyers, who are at odds with their client, say he is delusional and cite his testimony last week about a dream that Bush will free him prison before his lifetime sentence expires.
Jurors must decide whether Moussaoui should be executed or serve life in prison without parole, their only options since Moussaoui has already pleaded guilty to conspiring with al-Qaida to fly planes into U.S. buildings.
One of Moussaoui’s jail guards offered a few more details of Moussaoui’s dream during testimony Monday. Deputy Vikas Ohri said Moussaoui has told him that after Bush frees him, he will “fly to London, write a book, make some money and go back to the mountains of Afghanistan and be al-Qaida.”
He said he has also seen Moussaoui standing in front of a wall talking to himself. He asked Moussaoui about it once, and Moussaoui said he was practicing for court.
Moussaoui is the only person charged in this country in connection with the Sept. 11 attacks. The jury deciding his fate has already declared him eligible for the death penalty by determining that his actions caused at least one death on 9/11.
Even though Moussaoui was in jail in Minnesota at the time of the attacks, the jury ruled that lies he told federal agents a month before the attacks kept authorities from identifying and stopping some of the hijackers.