Disbarred radical attorney Lynne Stewart said yesterday’s appeals court decision upholding her conviction for smuggling messages from ‘blind sheik’ Omar Abdel-Rahman was timed to scare away defense lawyers from the controversial federal trial of accused 9/11 plotter Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
It is the government’s way of warning lawyers: “We’re going to be watching you every step of the way,” she said.
Stewart, 70, said she has packed her medicine and a stack of books and is ready to serve a 28-month sentence for her 2005 conviction for bringing messages from ‘blind sheik’ Abdel-Rahman to an Egyptian terrorist group. U.S. prosecutors wanted her imprisoned for 30 years.
Stewart could serve longer than 28 months. The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals ordered her trial judge to consider whether she committed perjury and resentence her.
Her former client, Abdel-Rahman, is serving a life sentence for plotting to blow up New York landmarks and assassinate Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
Lawyer Ronald Kuby, who is defending Queens imam Ahmad Wais Afzali against charges he lied to the FBI during the investigation of terrorism suspect Najibullah Zazi, said “if the government was trying to send a message this is a particularly good time as the legal community is discussing” how to represent the Guantanamo detainees.