A judge is to decide Monday whether to send a civil rights lawyer to prison for what could be the rest of her life for allegedly allowing an Egyptian sheik convicted in a terror plot to communicate with his followers.
Lynne Stewart is asking the judge to be lenient and see her as a well-intentioned attorney who made a serious mistake. Prosecutors want Stewart, 67, to receive the maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.
US District Judge John G. Koeltl is to sentence Stewart and two co-defendants Monday for a scheme the government says enabled a jailed blind Egyptian sheik to communicate with followers despite demands that he be isolated from the world.
Stewart was convicted in February 2005 of providing material support to terrorists for releasing a statement by Omar Abdel-Rahman, a sheik sentenced to life after he was convicted in plots to blow up five New York landmarks and assassinate Egypt's president.