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Lawyer's Terrorism Trial Opens in N.Y.

A federal prosecutor laced into prominent defense lawyer Lynne Stewart and two co-defendants as their trial opened Tuesday, arguing that they had supported a terrorist conspiracy aimed at kidnapping and killing innocent people. Stewart and the other defendants are accused of helping Omar Abdel Rahman, the imprisoned blind cleric convicted of terrorism charges in 1995, to send orders to followers in Egypt. In one such message in 2000, Rahman withdrew his support for a cease-fire with the Egyptian government. “His words and speeches were as dangerous as weapons,” prosecutor Christopher Morvillo told a Manhattan jury at the opening of a trial that is expected to stretch into the autumn. “The defendants pulled off a jail break” by going into the prison and disseminating Rahman’s words. Stewart is the first defense lawyer in a terrorism case to face federal charges of conspiring to support terrorism. Specifically, she is accused of conspiring to provide “personnel” to the Islamic Group in Egypt. Rahman himself — via his statements — was the person she provided, according to the government’s indictment. Full Story

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