- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 22, 2003

NEW YORK (AP) — A judge dismissed the two main terror counts against a civil rights lawyer and two co-defendants yesterday, saying charges they conspired to support a terrorism organization were unconstitutionally vague.

U.S. District Judge John G. Koeltl left intact charges that lawyer Lynne Stewart and two others conspired to defraud the United States and that Miss Stewart made false statements.

“I’m relieved and elated,” Miss Stewart said. She declined to comment further until she had read the decision.

Miss Stewart was charged last year with helping deliver messages from her client, Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, who is serving a life sentence for conspiring to blow up New York landmarks and assassinate Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

Prosecutors say she and co-defendants Mohammed Yousry, an Arabic translator, and Ahmed Abdel Sattar, a U.S. postal worker, helped relay messages from the blind Egyptian cleric to the Islamic Group, a radical Egypt-based terrorist group.

All three have pleaded not guilty.

The judge said the defendants were correct to argue that a law outlawing the mere use of phones and other means of communication without specifying what is illegal was unconstitutionally vague.

A spokesman for U.S. Attorney James B. Comey said the prosecutor had no immediate comment.

Yesterday’s ruling came after a hearing where defense lawyer Michael E. Tigar asked the judge to toss out the entire indictment against Miss Stewart.

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