United States v. Sattar; State Secrets Privilege event at American U tomorrow; forthcoming scholarship

November 17, 2009

1. United States v. Sattar (2d Cir. Nov. 17, 2009)

A substantial victory for the Justice Department this morning: in aset of opinions totaling 191 pages (!), a Second Circuit panel (Sack, Calabresi, and Walker) has affirmed the convictions of Lynne Stewart, Mohammed Yousry, and Ahmed Abdel Sattar, and has remanded for resentencing on grounds that could result in a heftier sentence.   From the introductory section:

In particular, we affirm the judgments as to each defendant’s conviction of conspiring to defraud the United States, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371, by violating SAMs imposed upon Abdel Rahman. Contrary to the defendants’ arguments, the evidence is sufficient to sustain these convictions. Moreover, we reject both Stewart’s argument that, as a lawyer, she was not bound by the SAMs, and her belated argument collaterally attacking their constitutionality. We affirm as to Sattar’s conviction of conspiring to murder persons in a foreign country in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 956, and his conviction of soliciting persons to commit crimes of violence — viz., murder and conspiracy to commit murder – in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 373. We conclude that the evidence is sufficient to sustain these convictions, especially in light of testimony establishing that Sattar attempted to undermine a unilateral cease-fire by an Egyptian terrorist organization and to draft a fatwa calling for, inter alia, the killing of “Jews and Crusaders.” Read the rest of this entry »