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Lynne Stewart Convicted of "Helping Terrorists" For Acting As Lawyer For Egyptian Sheik
by sources
Thursday Feb 10th, 2005 12:44 PM
NEW YORK (AP) - A veteran civil rights lawyer was convicted Thursday of crossing the line by smuggling messages of violence from one of her jailed clients - a radical Egyptian sheik - to his terrorist disciples on the outside.

The jury has been deliberating off-and-on over the past month in the case of Lynne Stewart, 65, a firebrand, left-wing activist known for representing radicals and revolutionaries in her 30 years on the New York legal scene.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,1280,-4792041,00.html



Feb. 10 (Bloomberg) -- New York lawyer Lynne Stewart was convicted of helping a radical Egyptian sheik pass secret messages to his followers urging violent terrorist attacks.

Stewart, 65, was charged with aiding a U.S.-designated terror organization, the Islamic Group, wage a broad murder and kidnapping conspiracy. Prosecutors say she and two co-defendants helped her former client, imprisoned blind cleric Omar Abdel Rahman, transmit messages to the group's leaders in defiance of prison restrictions.

Stewart, whose clients have included mobsters and political radicals, said she was being prosecuted for her role as an outspoken lawyer. She says she never intended to promote terrorism.

Stewart defended Rahman, the Islamic Group's spiritual leader, against 1993 charges that he plotted to blow up the United Nations, an FBI building, two tunnels, and a bridge in New York City. He was convicted and is serving a life sentence in a high security prison, where Stewart had numerous meetings with him.

From 1997 to 2002, Stewart and her co-defendants helped Rahman pass messages to followers in violation of government- imposed restrictions, prosecutors alleged. Rahman relied on the three to withdraw his support for the Islamic Group's cease-fire with the Egyptian government, which the organization adopted after its 1997 attack left 62 people dead in Luxor, Egypt, they say.

Stewart, along with Rahman aide Ahmed Abdel Sattar, 44, and interpreter Mohammed Yousry, 48, were accused of conspiring to defraud the U.S. government. Stewart and Yousry also faced charges of conspiring to provide material support to terrorists.

The case is U.S. v. Stewart, 02cr395, Southern District of New York.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000103&sid=aWPO.6oKgMsw&refer=us

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A New York defense lawyer was convicted on Thursday of aiding terrorism by helping a client send violent messages to militant followers in a case that critics say could hinder the defense of future terrorism suspects.

Lynne Stewart, 65, a feisty defender of the poor and unpopular, was accused in the closely watched case of violating an agreement made with the U.S. Justice Department to limit contact between her client, Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, and the outside world.

Abdel-Rahman was convicted in 1995 of conspiring to attack U.S. targets, including the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

http://wireservice.wired.com/wired/story.asp?section=Breaking&storyId=988855&tw=wn_wire_story
by more
Thursday Feb 10th, 2005 12:57 PM
NEW YORK - A veteran civil rights lawyer was convicted Thursday of crossing the line by smuggling messages of violence from one of her jailed clients - a radical Egyptian sheik - to his terrorist disciples on the outside.

The jury has been deliberating off-and-on over the past month in the case of Lynne Stewart, 65, a firebrand, left-wing activist known for representing radicals and revolutionaries in her 30 years on the New York legal scene. The jury deliberated 13 days in all.

Stewart faces up to 20 years in prison on charges that included conspiracy, giving material support to terrorists and defrauding the U.S. government.

Stewart sat stoically in a courtroom filled with her supporters, who gasped when the verdict was read.

The trial focused attention on the line between zealous advocacy and criminal behavior by a lawyer. Some defense lawyers saw the case as a government warning to attorneys to tread carefully in terrorism cases.

The jury also convicted a U.S. postal worker, Ahmed Abdel Sattar, of plotting to "kill and kidnap persons in a foreign country" by publishing an edict urging the killing of Jews and their supporters. A third defendant, Arabic interpreter Mohamed Yousry, was convicted of providing material support to terrorists. Sattar could face life in prison and Yousry up to 20 years.

Stewart was the lawyer for Omar Abdel-Rahman, a blind sheik sentenced to life in prison in 1996 for conspiring to assassinate Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and destroy several New York landmarks, including the U.N. building and the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels. Stewart's co-defendants also had close ties to Abdel-Rahman.

Prosecutors said Stewart and the others carried messages between the sheik and senior members of a Egyptian-based terrorist organization, helping spread Abdel-Rahman's venomous call to kill those who did not subscribe to his extremist interpretation of Islamic law.

At the time, the sheik was in solitary confinement in Minnesota under special prison rules to keep him from communicating with anyone except his wife and his lawyers.

Prosecutor Andrew Dember argued that Stewart and her co-defendants essentially "broke Abdel-Rahman out of jail, made him available to the worst kind of criminal we find in this world - terrorists."

Stewart, who once represented Weather Underground radicals and mob turncoat Sammy "The Bull" Gravano, repeatedly declared her innocence, maintaining she was unfairly targeted by overzealous prosecutors.

But she also testified that she believed violence was sometimes necessary to achieve justice: "To rid ourselves of the entrenched, voracious type of capitalism that is in this country that perpetuates sexism and racism, I don't think that can come nonviolently."

A major part of the prosecution's case was Stewart's 2000 release of a statement withdrawing the sheik's support for a cease-fire in Egypt by his militant followers. Prosecutors, though, could point to no violence that resulted from the statement.

Videotape of prison conversations between Stewart and the sheik also were played for jurors - recordings the defense denounced as an intrusion into attorney-client privilege.

http://www.sunherald.com/mld/sunherald/news/breaking_news/10867398.htm
by Pat Kincaid
( laughter [at] aol.com ) Thursday Feb 10th, 2005 1:21 PM
Definitely the smile of the week.

And first of all - her client wasn't "suspected" of terrorism. He was convicted of it.

No part of her handling his appeals, if any - required her to read statements from him to the public. Something she SIGNED IN WRITING multiple times she would not do.

She also promised to not transmit messages to him either from the outside.

She only complained about these things when she was busted for it.

Hope they offer electrolysis in prison.

She needs it!
by more
Thursday Feb 10th, 2005 4:48 PM
A US court has convicted a New York defence lawyer of aiding terrorism by helping a jailed client send messages to his followers.

Lynee Stewart, 65, a feisty defender of the poor and unpopular, was accused in the closely watched case of violating an agreement made with the US Justice Department to limit contact between her client, Shaikh Umar Abd al-Rahman, and the outside world.

She could now face up to 15 years in prison.

Stewart on Thursday was convicted of all five counts against her – aiding terrorist activity, conspiring to assist terrorist activity and actually assisting terrorist activity, as well as defrauding the government by breaking her pledge to keep her client from communicating with the outside world and making false statements.

Jailed client

Abd al-Rahman was convicted in 1995 of conspiring to attack US targets, including the 1993 World Trade Centre bombing.

At issue was whether Stewart intentionally helped the jailed Muslim cleric with his followers. Prosecutors said her actions could have led to renewed violence in Egypt.

Stewart denied any wrongdoing and insisted she was doing her job by zealously representing her client.

Stewart's defence lawyer had tried to convince the jury that she was the victim of an overreaching Bush administration that wanted to punish her for her radical views and representation of unpopular clients.
Agencies

http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/6EB542F8-3BFA-40E9-968C-384696160BE1.htm