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London imam allowed to get new lawyers in NYC case

June 17, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) — A federal judge has granted a London imam’s request to change lawyers for the sentencing and appeal of his terrorism conviction in New York.

Manhattan Judge Katherine Forrest ruled Tuesday after questioning the imam, Mustafa Kamel Mustafa.

Mustafa says his relationship with his attorneys was polite and respectful but also unworkable. The lawyers agreed with their client at Tuesday’s hearing, saying there’s been a communication breakdown that cannot be repaired.

Mustafa was convicted last month of supporting terrorist organizations, including during a 1998 kidnapping in Yemen. Four hostages were killed. He was extradited in 2012 from England.

Mustafa had asked the judge for a swift change in lawyers. Forrest says she will appoint new counsel as soon as lawyers with appropriate security clearances can be found.

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