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Court KOs Trade Center Case Appeal

January 19, 1999

WASHINGTON (AP) _ One of four men convicted of the 1993 bombing at the World Trade Center in New York City lost a Supreme Court appeal today.

The justices turned away arguments that Mahmoud Abouhalima was denied a fair trial when convicted of helping bring about the explosion that killed six people and injured more than 1,000 more.

Today’s action, taken without comment, left intact a ruling in which the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last August said all four militant Muslims had received a fair trial.

While upholding the convictions, the appeals court did order resentencing because the four did not have lawyers when each was sentenced to 240 years in prison. They had lawyers during their six-month trial.

The four, arrested weeks after the Feb. 26, 1993, bombing of the 110-story twin towers, said they sought to avenge U.S. support for Israel and to protest this nation’s foreign policy in the Middle East.

Abouhalima’s appeal to the nation’s highest court said the trial was tainted by, among other things, a prosecutor’s improper closing argument to the jury and the presiding judge’s apparent hostility toward the defendants.

The appeal also contended that Abouhalima’s conviction was based on ``equivocal circumstantial inferences″ of his role in the crime.

The case is Abouhalima vs. U.S., 98-7145.

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