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'Defendants in German attacks plot confess'

Four alleged Islamic militants accused of plotting devastating bombings against US interests in Germany have made full confessions to authorities, prosecutors said on Monday.

world Updated: Aug 10, 2009 21:42 IST

Four alleged Islamic militants accused of plotting devastating bombings against US interests in Germany have made full confessions to authorities, prosecutors said on Monday.

The three Germans and a Turkish national have spent the past weeks detailing their plans to agents from the Federal Crime Office after a shock announcement in court on June 9 that they would plead guilty to the charges against them.

The four defendants, who could face 15 years in prison if convicted, aim to shorten what was expected to be a mammoth trial and reduce their sentences by confessing, defence attorneys said.

"The accused confirmed that they intended to kill as many American soldiers as possible here," federal prosecutor Volker Brinkmann told reporters as the trial resumed in this western city.

He added that the four had made "very comprehensive statements".

Presiding judge Ottmar Breidling said at the start of the hearing that he believed after reviewing the accounts of the confessions that they would lead to a relatively quick end to the trial and expose the dimensions of the plot.

"We are impressed on the one hand by the scope of the testimony and on the other by the candour," he said, noting that the transcripts and notes from the questioning comprised 1,584 pages.