Lynn Stewart, Attorney, 28 months, Demand Habeas Corpus and Justice
batmanchester
Posted: Oct 16 2006, 06:39 PM


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NEW YORK (AP) -- Civil rights lawyer Lynne Stewart was sentenced Monday to 28 months in prison for helping a client, a blind sheik who plotted to blow up New York City landmarks, communicate with his followers.

Stewart, 67, could have faced up to 30 years in prison for her conviction on a federal charge of providing material support to terrorists.

She smiled as the judge announced his decision to send her to prison for less than 2-1/2 years.

"If you send her to prison, she's going to die. It's as simple as that," defense lawyer Elizabeth Fink had told the judge before the sentence was pronounced.

In a letter to the judge, Stewart proclaimed "I am not a traitor."

She acknowledged that she zealously tried to save a blind Egyptian sheik from life in prison for plotting to blow up New York City landmarks.

But she argued that the government's characterization of her was wrong and took unfair advantage of the "hysteria that followed 9/11 and that was re-lived during the trial." (Watch Stewart vow to fight on -- 2:01 )

On Monday, that judge is to decide whether Stewart, 67, should join her former client behind bars for enabling him to communicate with his followers. Prosecutors asked for the maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.

Outside the federal courthouse, about 150 Stewart supporters who could not get inside the capacity-filled courtroom chanted "Free Lynne, Free Lynne."

As she entered the courthouse, Stewart shouted to them "I love you" and "I'm hanging in there."

"It's not just Lynn Stewart who is a victim, it's the Bill of Rights that's the victim," said Al Dorfman, 72, a retired lawyer who was among the Stewart supporters standing outside.

Stewart was convicted in February 2005 of providing material support to terrorists. She had released a statement by Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, who she represented at his 1995 trial and who was sentenced to life in prison for plots to blow up five New York landmarks and assassinate Egypt's president.

In court papers, prosecutors told U.S. District Judge John G. Koeltl that Stewart's "egregious, flagrant abuse of her profession, abuse that amounted to material support to a terrorist group, deserves to be severely punished."

Stewart, whose sentencing was delayed after she was diagnosed with breast cancer last year and underwent treatment, asked the judge for mercy.

"The government's characterization of me and what occurred is inaccurate and untrue," she wrote. "It takes unfair advantage of the climate of urgency and hysteria that followed 9/11 and that was re-lived during the trial. I did not intentionally enter into any plot or conspiracy to aid a terrorist organization."

Mixed with her trademark defiance -- "I am not a traitor" -- was a measure of contrition. After some soul searching, she wrote, she had concluded that a careless over-devotion to her clients -- "I am softhearted to the point of self-abnegation" -- was her undoing.

Stewart was arrested six months after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, along with Mohamed Yousry, an Arabic interpreter, and Ahmed Abdel Sattar, a U.S. postal worker.

Prosecutors argued that Stewart blatantly broke rules designed to keep the blind cleric from inciting violence among his followers, and Koeltl upheld her conviction. The judge rejected her claim that Abdel-Rahman was engaging in protected speech when he expressed his opinion about a cease fire by Islamic militants in Egypt that Stewart passed along in a 2000 press release.

Stewart and Yousry were both convicted of providing material support to terrorists. Stewart also was convicted of defrauding the government and making false statements for breaking her promise to abide by government rules to keep the sheik from communicating with his followers.

Sattar was convicted of conspiracy to kill and kidnap people in a foreign country and could face life in prison. All three were to be sentenced Monday.

At least one lawyer, Elizabeth Fink, wrote to the judge on Stewart's behalf, calling the government's position "draconian, inhumane and ludicrous."

http://www.cnn.com/2006/LAW/10/16/terror.trial.ap/index.html
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Egami
Posted: Oct 16 2006, 06:51 PM


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Unbelievable the judge should be burned to the stake.

http://www.nysd.uscourts.gov/judges/USDJ/koeltl.htm

All I gotta say is boo hiss this guy deserves some phone calls

This post has been edited by Egami on Oct 16 2006, 06:53 PM
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Jared004
Posted: Oct 16 2006, 07:00 PM


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http://www.cnn.com/2006/LAW/10/16/terror.trial.ap/index.html

Attorney gets 28 months for aiding terrorists

NEW YORK (AP) -- Civil rights lawyer Lynne Stewart was sentenced Monday to 28 months in prison for helping a client, a blind sheik who plotted to blow up New York City landmarks, communicate with his followers.

Stewart, 67, could have faced up to 30 years in prison for her 2005 conviction on a federal charge of providing material support to terrorists.

She smiled as the judge announced his decision to send her to prison for less than 2-1/2 years.

"If you send her to prison, she's going to die. It's as simple as that," defense lawyer Elizabeth Fink had told the judge before the sentence was pronounced.

Stewart, who was treated last year for breast cancer, had released a statement by Omar Abdel-Rahman, a blind Egyptian sheik sentenced to life in prison after he was convicted in plots to blow up five New York landmarks and assassinate Egypt's president.

Prosecutors have called the case a major victory in the war on terrorism. They said Stewart and other defendants carried messages between the sheik and senior members of an Egyptian-based terrorist organization, helping spread Abdel-Rahman's call to kill those who did not subscribe to his extremist interpretation of Islamic law.

In a letter to the judge before her hearing, Stewart proclaimed: "I am not a traitor."

"The end of my career truly is like a sword in my side," She said in court Monday. "Permit me to live out the rest of my life productively, lovingly, righteously."

She acknowledged that she zealously tried to save a blind Egyptian sheik from life in prison for plotting to blow up New York City landmarks.

But she argued that the government's characterization of her was wrong and took unfair advantage of the "hysteria that followed 9/11 and that was re-lived during the trial." (Watch Stewart vow to fight on -- 2:01 )

On Monday, that judge is to decide whether Stewart, 67, should join her former client behind bars for enabling him to communicate with his followers. Prosecutors asked for the maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.

Outside the federal courthouse, about 150 Stewart supporters who could not get inside the capacity-filled courtroom chanted "Free Lynne, Free Lynne."

As she entered the courthouse, Stewart shouted to them "I love you" and "I'm hanging in there."

"It's not just Lynn Stewart who is a victim, it's the Bill of Rights that's the victim," said Al Dorfman, 72, a retired lawyer who was among the Stewart supporters standing outside.

Stewart was convicted in February 2005 of providing material support to terrorists. She had released a statement by Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, who she represented at his 1995 trial and who was sentenced to life in prison for plots to blow up five New York landmarks and assassinate Egypt's president.

In court papers, prosecutors told U.S. District Judge John G. Koeltl that Stewart's "egregious, flagrant abuse of her profession, abuse that amounted to material support to a terrorist group, deserves to be severely punished."

Stewart, whose sentencing was delayed after she was diagnosed with breast cancer last year and underwent treatment, asked the judge for mercy.

"The government's characterization of me and what occurred is inaccurate and untrue," she wrote. "It takes unfair advantage of the climate of urgency and hysteria that followed 9/11 and that was re-lived during the trial. I did not intentionally enter into any plot or conspiracy to aid a terrorist organization."

Mixed with her trademark defiance -- "I am not a traitor" -- was a measure of contrition. After some soul searching, she wrote, she had concluded that a careless over-devotion to her clients -- "I am softhearted to the point of self-abnegation" -- was her undoing.

Stewart was arrested six months after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, along with Mohamed Yousry, an Arabic interpreter, and Ahmed Abdel Sattar, a U.S. postal worker.

Prosecutors argued that Stewart blatantly broke rules designed to keep the blind cleric from inciting violence among his followers, and Koeltl upheld her conviction. The judge rejected her claim that Abdel-Rahman was engaging in protected speech when he expressed his opinion about a cease fire by Islamic militants in Egypt that Stewart passed along in a 2000 press release.

Stewart and Yousry were both convicted of providing material support to terrorists. Stewart also was convicted of defrauding the government and making false statements for breaking her promise to abide by government rules to keep the sheik from communicating with his followers.

Sattar was convicted of conspiracy to kill and kidnap people in a foreign country and could face life in prison. All three were to be sentenced Monday.

At least one lawyer, Elizabeth Fink, wrote to the judge on Stewart's behalf, calling the government's position "draconian, inhumane and ludicrous."

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