US judge releases dying lawyer convicted of aiding terrorism

By REUTERS
January 1, 2014 02:08




A federal judge on Tuesday granted Lynne Stewart, a former defense lawyer convicted of aiding terrorism, a "compassionate" release from prison because she is dying of cancer.

Stewart, 74, has been serving a 10-year sentence over her 2005 conviction for helping a client, blind Egyptian cleric Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, smuggle messages from prison to Egypt's Islamic Group, which the US government had listed as a terrorist organization.




Earlier this year, Stewart asked US District Judge John Koeltl in Manhattan for early release under a Federal Bureau of Prisons program for terminally ill inmates.




Koeltl, who in August had denied the request, noting that the Bureau of Prisons had not supported it, on Tuesday granted the request, following a recommendation for release from the Bureau of Prisons and the US attorney in Manhattan. Koeltl reduced Stewart's sentence to the time she has already served and ordered Stewart released as soon as her medical condition permits, according to a court filing.



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