LYNNE STEWART RADICAL LAWYER HEADING TO JAIL
Disbarred radical lawyer Lynne Stewart is going to jail - maybe for a lot longer than she thought.
An appeals court Tuesday upheld her conviction for smuggling messages to her jailed terrorist client and said she deserves more than the 28 months she got because she may have lied at her trial.
"I will go on fighting," Stewart, 70, told about a dozen supporters outside Manhattan federal court Tuesday.
"I'm no criminal." The ruling said Stewart was to surrender to U.S. Marshals immediately, but her lawyers won her another day of freedom - until at least 5 p.m. Wednesday.
They hope to convince the feds to let her surrender after she goes for minor surgery for what she called "plumbing problems" on Dec. 7.
The Brooklyn resident, free on bail since 2006, said she is prepared to be locked up.
"Visit me in jail," she told supporters. "Send money to the commissary!"
Stewart was sentenced to two years and four months in prison in 2005 for helping Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman talk to militants from prison after his 1996 conviction for plotting to blow up New York City icons and assassinate Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
Prosecutors, who wanted her jailed for 30 years, appealed, calling the light sentence "a slap on the wrist" for someone convicted "of a crime of terrorism."
The appeals court said the trial judge, John Koeltl, should have determined at sentencing if Stewart committed perjury when she testified.
"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," the court said.
The majority of the panel sang Koeltl's praises in how he handled the complex case. But Judge John Walker dissented - saying just because Koeltl had a stellar reputation didn't mean he'd called it right this time.
"The court has never recognized two classes of judges - those who are so good that their judgement is beyond reproach, and all the rest," Walker wrote.
Walker called Stewart's 28-month sentence "breathtakingly low" given her plan to transmit instructions from "a terrorist leader to his jihadist followers in the Middle East."
Outside court, Stewart said she was just trying to be a zealous advocate for her client, who is serving life in prison "I'm not sure yet what our next move is," she said, then quoted Adlai Stevenson: "I'm too old to cry, but it hurts too much not to."
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/ny_crime/2009/11/17/2009-11-17_conviction_of_disbarred_lawyer_lynne_stewart_upheld_for_smuggling_messages_to_ja.html#ixzz0XER1LhOT