A federal appeals court today ordered a convicted terror-coddling civil rights lawyer to begin serving her prison sentence.
The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan upheld Lynne Stewart's conviction upon announcing its ruling.
Stewart, 69, was convicted in February 2005 of conspiracy and providing and concealing material support of terrorism for her actions in smuggling messages from "blind sheik" Omar Abdel-Rahman to his followers in the Islamic terror group Gama'a al-Islamiyya.
Stewart was sentenced to just two years behind bars.
But the appeals court also ordered her resentenced -- saying the judge must consider whether she committed perjury at trial.
At the time of her sentencing in October 2006, Stewart faced a maximum 30-year prison term for conspiracy to provide material support to terrorist organizations, making false statements and defrauding the government.
Stewart’s lawyer Joshua Dratel did not immediately have a comment.
“To say that I am disappointed after 7 1/2 years would be an understatement,” Stewart wrote in an e-mail to The Associated Press.
She said she had not yet spoken to her lawyer, but that she was planning a news conference for later today.
A jury found Stewart wrongly issued public statements for Abdel-Rahman, a mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, that helped him communicate with Egyptian-based terrorists.
Following the nine-month trial, Manhattan federal Judge John Koeltl imposed a drastically reduced sentence based on Stewart's lack of criminal history.
The appeals court said it was necessary for the judge to make the determination because of “the seriousness of her criminal conduct, her responsibilities as a member of the bar and her role as counsel for Abdel-Rahman.”
The court added that "whether Stewart lied under oath at her trial is directly relevant to whether her sentence was appropriate. ... Any cover-up or attempt to evade responsibility by a failure to tell the truth upon oath or affirmation at her trial would compound the gravity of her crime.”
In a partial dissent to the ruling, Judge John Walker complained that the appeals court did not go far enough, saying it should have rejected Stewart’s sentence as “substantively unreasonable” and required resentencing on that basis.
Click to view image: 'b0ca476195ff-alg_humanrights_lynnestewart.jpg'
|Liveleak on Facebook|