JANUARY 02, 2014
The Clinton-appointed federal judge who ordered the “compassionate release” of convicted terrorist facilitator Lynne Stewart is the same one who publicly praised the radical attorney and gave her such a light punishment an appellate court forced a resentencing.
In 2005 Stewart, a self-proclaimed radical lawyer who has represented violent mobsters and Islamic jihadists, was convicted by a jury of collaborating with terrorist mastermind Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, an architect of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing that killed six. A fundamentalist Islamic cleric, Abdel-Rahman was convicted of conspiring to destroy the United Nations headquarters, the George Washington Bridge and the Lincoln and Holland tunnels.
When Stewart enthusiastically signed up to be Abdel-Rahman’s lawyer she agreed to and signed rules that barred her from passing any messages to and from her client, yet she smuggled coded dispatches encouraging violence to his militant followers in Egypt. The messages led to the dissolution of a cease-fire between Abdel-Rahman’s Islamic Group and the Egyptian government.
The feds charged Stewart with aiding Abdel-Rahman. For two years she acted as the hub of a communications network that enabled the jailed cleric to perpetuate his position as the leader of a terrorist organization despite his conviction for seditious conspiracy to wage a war of urban terrorism against the United States, according to prosecutors.
Stewart’s trial lasted six months and the jury deliberated for 13 days before convicting her. She faced up to 30 years in prison but the sentencing judge, Clinton-appointed John Koeltl, was one of her biggest fans and she only got 28 months. At the 2006 sentencing hearing in Manhattan Federal District Court Judge Koeltl shamelessly praised Stewart, saying that she performed a public service to the nation by representing Abdel-Rahman. The judge also said that Stewart had demonstrated enormous skill and dedication in her representation of the terrorist sheikh.
Three years later a federal appellate court ordered that Stewart be resentenced and she got slapped with 10 years, still well below the maximum. She went to jail in 2009 and recently got diagnosed with terminal breast cancer. The Obama administration pushed for Stewart’s release from the Texas federal prison where she was serving her sentence. Judge Koeltl must have been doing cartwheels in his chambers when the order came before him.
A mainstream media outlet reports that Koeltl’s order says Stewart’s “terminal medical condition and very limited life expectancy constitute extraordinary and compelling reasons that warrant the requested reduction.” Back home in New York Stewart celebrated with her supporters, telling a local newspaper that there’s nothing like freedom and that she’s going to celebrate with a party.
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