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MOUSSAOUI HOPES TO AVOID EXECUTION

Admitted terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui told a judge in a secret session last week he remains hopeful that he will be sentenced to prison, not death.

"I will be ready to deal with the consequences, whatever they may be," Moussaoui told U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema two days before pleading guilty Friday to conspiring with the Sept. 11 hijackers and plotting a separate attack on the White House.

"It can be that some people decide that I will spend my life in Florence, Colo. It's possible."

Florence is the site of the super-maximum-security federal prison that houses several convicted terrorists.

Brinkema on Wednesday unsealed declassified sections of a transcript of the meeting. She has not yet set a date for the penalty proceeding, which will determine if Moussaoui is sentenced to death or prison.

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